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Akufo-Addo Sworn In As Ghana’s President
Nana Akufo-Addo has been sworn in as Ghana’s new president after beating incumbent leader John Mahama in last month’s election.
Heads of states from across Africa and thousands of guests and dignitaries watched him take the oath of office at a ceremony in the capital, Accra on Saturday.
Akufo-Addo, a 72-year-old former human rights lawyer, promised free high school education and more factories.
But critics have questioned the viability of his ambitions.
The new president who is from the New Patriotic Party, was elected on his third attempt to reach the post, after a campaign dominated by the country’s faltering economy.
Outgone President John Mahama and former leaders Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor were present at the ceremony in the capital’s Independence Square.
Major roads in and around the area were cordoned off.
Akufo-Addo also promised to build a factory in each of Ghana’s more than 200 districts. He had vowed to revive the country’s economy, saying that “there are brighter days ahead”.
Former President Mahama had in a farewell speech before the Ghanaian parliament on December 31, 2016 said he wished Akufo-Addo the best as he assumes office.
“I stand here today, Mr Speaker, holding the baton of leadership prepared to pass it on with pride, goodwill and determination to Nana Akufo-Addo,” he said.
An economic slump under Mahama led to an International Monetary Fund bail-out.
But he defended his record, saying that his government had been up against “strong headwinds” that caused growth to slow, public sector debt to rise and the country’s currency, the cedi, to fall.
Ghana has been a multi-party democracy since the end of military rule in 1992 and the transition is seen as reinforcing its reputation for the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.
In a post on his social media handle on a Friday, president Muhammadu Buhari said he was looking forward to Akufo-Addo’s inauguration.
He also commended Mahama “for his maturity and statesmanship”, adding that “Ghana has once again set a great example.”