The swearing-in ceremony for Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo took place yesterday in the capital Accra.
The ceremony comes a day after a brawl erupted in Ghana’s parliament during the speaker elections. Armed security officials had to be sent in to maintain law and order. Chaos erupted after the ruling party’s deputy tried to grab the ballot box as the vote for parliamentary speaker carried on. The new parliament is split right down to a tie between the two main parties - a situation that should create gridlock in key agenda items.
The opposition has an ongoing petition filed at the Supreme Court seeking a rerun of the December 7 polls. Generally, local regional and international observers regarded the polls as free and fair.
From the speech delivered by the Ghanian president, citizens got a glimpse of what to expect in the second term.
Strong economy. Enhanced focus on the country’s economic situation, generate employment for the youth, and uplift living standards.
Nationwide electrification. In a 2018 World Bank report, 82.4% of the country is connected to the electric grid - a situation that the president intends to increase to 100% in his second term.
Construction of district hospitals. In April 2020 the president pledged to construct 90 new hospitals as a response to Covid-19, it remains unclear how many are accomplished.
Water portability. Reduce the number of Ghanaians without access to clean potable water.
Housing. Tacke the housing shortage in the country estimated at 2 million homes.
Roads. Pledge to ensure all country roads are accommodative to motor vehicles by 2021.
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The hotly contested election was held between incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama. Official results revealed that the incumbent clinched 51.6% of the vote while his rival followed closely at 47.4% of the vote. Mahama led the National Democratic Congress (NDC), all of whom have rejected the election results citing irregularities. What made the contest interesting is the fact that it marked the third time the duo are facing each other in an election.
Ghana is among the most stable democracies in Africa. The president will have to tackle a staggering economy plagued by debt at over 70% GDP, high unemployment levels, and a health crisis. On top of that, the ruling New Patriotic Party lost 32 seats of the 275 member parliament. The tally of MPs on both sides is even at 137. One opposition MP was suspended on legal grounds because he held dual citizenship reducing their ranks to 136.