Ghana: Nana Akufo-Addo is sworn in as president

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Nana Akufo-Addo takes the oath of office during a ceremony at Independence Square in Accra

Nana Akufo-Addo has been sworn in as Ghana's new president after beating John Mahama in last month's election.

Heads of state from across Africa and thousands of guests and dignitaries watched him take the oath of office at a ceremony in the capital, Accra.

Mr 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.

Mr Akufo-Addo's inauguration represents the latest peaceful handover of power in Ghana.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Mr Akufo-Addo inspects a military parade as part of his inauguration ceremony on Saturday
Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The new president's campaign to fix the country's faltering economy proved popular with Ghanaians

Taking the oath of office in the capital's Independence Square on Saturday, he promised to "protect and defend" Ghana's constitution.

He said he would reduce taxes to boost the economy, adding that Ghana was now "opened for business again".

Mr Akufo-Addo later posted the full text of the presidential oath on the social media site Twitter, using the hashtag #Inauguration2017.

He tweeted that his position was was not an avenue for making money and that he would not disappoint the people of Ghana.

Image source, Twitter

Mr Akufo-Addo, 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.

Nana Akufo-Addo

Image source, AFP
  • 72 years old
  • Human rights lawyer
  • Campaigned for a return to multi-party democracy under military rule
  • A former justice and foreign minister in the NPP government from 2001 to 2007, he is running for president for a third time
  • His main promise was to build a factory in each of Ghana's more than 200 districts

Mr Akufo-Addo has previously vowed to revive the country's economy, saying that "there are brighter days ahead".

An economic slump under Mr Mahama led to an International Monetary Fund bail-out.

The former president has defended his record, saying 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.