Ghana

  1. Daughter warns of Jerry Rawlings funeral scam

    The eldest daughter of Ghana's former President Jerry Rawlings has warned against online fraudsters who claim to be raising money for her father's funeral.

    Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, in a statement posted on her Facebook account on Thursday, said fake social media accounts had been created in her name to solicit funds.

    She said the fraudsters are targeting people who are sending their condolences.

    Ms Agyeman-Rawlings is the MP for the Klottey Korle constituency in Ghana's parliament.

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    Former leader Jerry Rawlings died on 12 November aged 73.

    The government declared seven days of mourning ahead of a state funeral.

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  2. Ghana's president denies meddling in anti-corruption fight

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, delivers a speech after a meeting in Bamako on July 23, 2020
    Image caption: The anti-corruption chief cited interference by President Akufo-Addo (in picture) as one of the reasons for his resignation

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has denied allegations of interference made by former anti-corruption chief Martin Amidu.

    In a statement, the president described the allegations as “errors of fact”.

    The statement added that neither the president nor any member of his government interfered with Mr Amidu's work and adequate resources were made available to enable him to do his work efficiently and effectively.

    Mr Amidu resigned as Ghana’s anti-corruption chief on Monday, citing among other things interference by President Akufo-Addo.

    Mr Amidu's appointment two years ago was greeted with high expectations as he was seen by many in Ghana as the right man to fight corruption among public officials.

    His resignation comes less than three weeks before the general election, in a country where promises to deal with corruption feature prominently during electioneering campaigns.

  3. Ghana's anti-graft prosecutor resigns over 'meddling'

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Former anti-corruption special prosecutor Martin Amidu
    Image caption: Martin Amidu also accuses the president of interference

    Ghana’s anti-corruption special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has resigned saying his mandate and efforts had been compromised.

    Mr Amidu’s appointment in 2018 by President Nana Akufo-Addo was greeted with great expectation in the country but the results were disappointing.

    In a statement announcing his resignation, the former attorney general cited a lack of independence and freedom to execute his mandate.

    He also accused President Akufo-Addo of interference although the president's office has not responded to the claim.

    Mr Amidu claimed that some staff members at his office, including himself, had not been paid salaries since their appointment.

    He had previously cited a lack of co-operation from other state agencies, and attempts to compromise his staff who were pursuing corruption claims against public officials.

    Among the high profile cases he was working on was an alleged $5m (£3.8m) scandal linked to an aircraft manufacturer, and a damning assessment of the government’s attempt to engage in a controversial gold royalties deal.

    Many Ghanaians have expressed disappointment at his resignation.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Jerry John Rawlings: 'I'm just an ordinary, hungry, screaming Ghanaian'

    Through decades of speeches and interviews, this is how Jerry John Rawlings spoke of his vision for Ghana and for Africa.

  5. Kufuor: Rawlings contained his reservations about me

    Jerry Rawlings
    Image caption: Ex-President Jerry Rawlings died on Thursday at the age of 73

    Ghana's former President John Kufuor has said he was "deeply saddened" by Thursday's death of his immediate predecessor Jerry John Rawlings at the age of 73.

    He and Mr Kufuor were ideological opponents and rarely saw eye to eye.

    Rawlings, Ghana's longest serving head of state, refused to attend the country's celebrations marking 50 years of independence in 2007 because he accused then-President Kufuor of oppressing Ghanaians.

    But in his statement, Mr Kufuor praised Rawlings' willingness to relinquish power in 2001 after his two terms were up.

    He "obviously tried to contain whatever reservations he had about me and my government".

    Reviewing Rawlings' nearly two decades in power, Mr Kufuor said "even though it wasn't always [that] he and I agreed on many matters of state - I felt he was trying to do the best he knew and could, under his peculiar circumstances".

    He will be remembered for "contributing to the sustenance of democratic governance" in Ghana, Mr Kufuor added.

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  6. AU mourns 'charismatic continental statesman'

    Jerry John Rawlings listens to President Bill Clinton during a press conference at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, February 24.
    Image caption: Jerry Rawlings is seen in Washington in 1999

    African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat has paid tribute to Ghana's former leader Jerry Rawlings, saying that "Africa has lost a stalwart of Pan-Africanism and a charismatic continental statesman".

    "My sincere condolences to his family, the people and the government of Ghana," he wrote on Twitter.

  7. Rawlings family requests privacy

    The family of former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings has just issued a short statement following his death at the age of 73.

    His eldest daughter Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings said: "It is with deep sadness that the family... informs the general public that the former President of the Republic passed away on Thursday morning after a short illness.

    "The family requests privacy at this difficult moment. Details of funeral arrangements will be announced in due course."

  8. Africa will miss 'the great leader'

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has sent his "heartfelt condolences" to the government and people of Ghana following the death of former President Jerry Rawlings.

    "The entire African continent will sorely miss the sterling qualities of the great leader," Mr Buhari said in a message of condolence.

    He also said he "believes the passion, discipline and moral strength that the former Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years" would "continue to reverberate across the continent and beyond."

    Mr Buhari also hoped that Rawlings' ideas "for development in Africa... will always be remembered".

  9. Ghana's president declares seven days of mourning

    Former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana arrives to pay last respect to late President John Atta Mills lying in state at the parliament in Accra, on August 8, 2012.
    Image caption: Jerry Rawlings is seen here in 2012

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared seven days of mourning following the death of former president and military ruler Jerry Rawlings.

    Mr Akufo-Addo said he had suspended campaigning for next month's election, and flags would fly at half-mast.

    The seven days of mourning will start on Friday.

    "A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for the loss," Mr Akufo-Addo said, adding that Mr Rawlings would be given a "fitting" state funeral.

    The former president died at a state hospital in the capital Accra at the age of 73.

  10. Ghana presidential candidate suspends campaigning

    Ghana's former Presidents John Dramani Mahama (L) and Jerry Rawlings talks during the swearing-in ceremony of Liberia's president-elect on January 22, 2018 in Monrovia's stadium.
    Image caption: John Mahama (L) is seen with Jerry Rawlings in 2018

    Ghana's opposition presidential candidate John Mahama has announced that he is suspending campaigning for next month's election following the death of former leader Jerry Rawlings.

    Mr Mahama is the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was founded by Mr Rawlings.

  11. Who was Jerry Rawlings?

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Rawlings
    Image caption: Jerry Rawlings speaks in Libya in 1987

    Jerry Rawlings - the former leader of Ghana who has died aged 73 - was the son of a Scottish father and a Ghanaian mother.

    He led two military coups. He was an authoritarian leader who was tough on corruption.

    Flight Lieutenant JJ Rawlings was also accused of human rights abuses.

    He headed the military council which in 1979 executed eight senior officers, including three former heads of state.

    Later the execution by firing squad of Supreme Court judges also left a stain on Mr Rawlings’ legacy.

    He went on to set up the National Democratic Congress (NDC) political party and, commanding huge support, was elected president in 1992.

    After stepping down eight years later he continued to play an influential role on Ghana's political scene.

  12. Tributes pour in for Ghana's Rawlings

    Jerry Rawlings
    Image caption: Jerry Rawlings (centre) is seen in 1995 with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini

    Tributes are being paid to Ghana's former leader Jerry Rawlings following his death at the age of 73.

    Liberia's President George Weah said "Ghana, Liberia and Africa will miss a great leader.

    "Liberia remembers his immense contribution to the attainment and sustainment of peace during our dark days of our own history," he added in a tweet.

  13. BreakingGhana's former leader Jerry Rawlings dies aged 73

    Jerry Rawlings
    Image caption: Jerry Rawlings is seen in this photo at a summit of African leaders in Libya in 1979

    Ghana's former military ruler and president Jerry Rawlings has died at the age of 73.

    He took power twice through coups and won two presidential elections following the restoration of democracy in the West African state.

    As a senior officer in the Ghana Air Force, he led a coup in 1979, before handing over to a civilian government. He again staged a coup two years later.

    He headed the junta until introducing multi-party elections in 1992, when he was elected president. He stepped down in 2001 after serving two terms.

    A charismatic figure, he came to power in 1979 railing against corruption.

    Reports from Ghana say that the former president died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.

    In the few months that he led the country in 1979, he was responsible for executing several former heads of state and army generals after accusing them of corruption and mismanagement.

    He was also seen as a champion of the poor and began his leadership of the country as a committed socialist.

    Ralwings later introduced free-market reforms and ushered in a long period of political stability, that continues today, after a tumultuous series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.

  14. Ghana daily Covid-19 infections jump five-fold over fortnight

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    A man sells face masks in Accra, Ghana on April 20, 2020.
    Image caption: The president blamed the spike on poor adherence to safety measures like wearing of face masks

    Ghana’s new daily coronavirus cases have increased from an average of 25 to 130 over the past two weeks, raising concerns about a possible second wave of the virus in the country.

    President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a televised address on Sunday, said the government would step up contact tracing, testing and treatment of Covid-19 cases to stop the spread.

    The government has also extended pay incentives for health workers to the end of December - which include tax exemption and a 50% pay rise for Covid-19 frontline workers.

    Ghanaians will also continue to enjoy a free water supply to promote regular hand washing.

    President Akufo-Addo attributed the increased infections to a disregard of Covid-19 safety protocols, including social distancing and the wearing of masks.

    Although large political rallies are banned in the country, campaign activities have heightened ahead of polls in December, with many ignoring the safety protocols.

    Ghana’s active cases have increased to 1,139 from 398 over the last three weeks. The country has so far registered 320 deaths as of Friday.

  15. Ghana activists push government to rescue maids from Lebanon

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    The United Nations Youth Association Ghana is pushing for the Ghanaian government to help rescue over 8,000 stranded domestic workers – most of them women – from Lebanon.

    The Middle East has become a popular destination for African women to move to for work as maids – with an estimated three million women from Africa working in Gulf states.

    But some end up in dangerous situations.

    I spoke to three women in their twenties who have returned to Ghana from Lebanon.

    They told me of long shifts - sometimes as long as 14 hours - without food.

    One of the women told me that her boss drugged her.

    Two of the three said their boss tried to rape them.

    At the root of the problem is a visa system called Kafala which makes workers extremely vulnerable, says Asie Kabukie Ocansey from the Nekotech Centre for Labour Migration:

    Quote Message: African migrant domestic workers are entering into a kind of domestic system that Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia have rejected - and that system is called Kafala. Kafala was started in the 1950s when the oil boom started in the Middle East and it means an adoption. They are not allowed to change an employer no matter how abusive the situation is and that is not correct."

    The UN youth association is also urging African leaders to ratify the Domestic Workers Convention to protect the rights of domestic workers - especially young women working abroad.