Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is currently the President of Ghana. He has been in office since 7 January 2017.
He previously served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 under the Kufuor-led administration. He is also currently the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Nana Addo first ran for president in 2008 and again in 2012. Both times as the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but was defeated on both occasions by National Democratic Congress’ candidates: John Evans Atta Mills in 2008 and John Dramani Mahama in 2012 after the former’s death. He refused to concede and went to court, the Supreme Court of Ghana affirmed John Dramani Mahama’s victory.
He was chosen as the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party for a third time for the 2016 general elections and this time, he defeated John Dramani Mahama in the first round (winning with 53.85% of the votes), which marked the first time in a Ghanaian presidential election that an opposition candidate won a majority outright in the first round.
Though known by his mates to have been a vocal supporter of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) while a student in the University of Ghana, he switched sides to the rival UP tradition following the overthrow of President Nkrumah in 1966 after which his father, Edward Akufo-Addo became ceremonial president of Ghana in 1969. Akufo-Addo’s participation in politics formally began in the late 1970s when he joined the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ),an organisation formed to oppose the General Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council’s Union Government proposals.
In May 1995, he was among a broad group of elites who formed Alliance for Change, an alliance that organised demonstrations against neo-liberal policies such as the introduction of Value Added Tax and human rights violations of the Rawlings presidency.
The forefront of this demonstration were himself, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako and Victor Newman, Kwasi Pratt Jnr, Dr. Charles Wreko Brobbey among others. They were joined by about 100,000 other people. The protest was named “Kumepreko”.
The broad-based opposition alliance later collapsed as the elite leaders jostled for leadership positions. In the 1990s, he formed a civil rights organisation called Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights.
He was a member of the 2nd,3rd and 4th parliament of the 4th republic representing the Abuakwa constituency.
In the 1996 elections, he polled 28,526 votes out of the 50,263 valid votes cast representing 47.50% over Owuraku Amofa who polled 20,173 votes, Adoo-Aikins who polled 705 votes, Ahmadu Rufai who polled 682 votes and Emmanuel Kofi Tamakloe who polled 177 votes.
He won again in the 2000 General Elections with 28,633 votes out of the 45,795 valid votes cast representing 62.50% over Christiana Annor who polled 14,486 votes, Addo-Aikins who polled 1.088 votes, Theresa Stella Amakye who polled 593 votes, Kofi Opoku-Gyamera who polled 519 votes and Isaac Duodu Awah who also polled 506 votes.
In October 1998, Akufo-Addo competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP and lost to John Kufuor, who subsequently won the December 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana in January 2001. Akufo-Addo was the chief campaigner for Kufuor in the 2000 election. He became the first Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Kufuor era, and later moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
In 2007, he was the popular candidate tipped to win New Patriotic Party’s presidential primaries. In 2008, Akufo-Addo represented NPP in a closely contested election against John Atta Mills of NDC. In the first round of voting, Akufo-Addo tallied 49.13%, leading Atta Mills with a slim margin that was below the constitutional threshold of 50% to become the outright winner.
Akufo-Addo ran again as NPP’s presidential candidate in the 2012 national elections against NDC’s John Mahama, successor to the late Atta Mills. Mahama was declared the winner of the election, an outcome that was legally challenged by Akufo-Addo. The court case generated considerable controversy, and was finally decided by the Ghana Supreme Court in a narrow 5/4 decision in favour of Mahama. Akufo-Addo accepted the verdict in the interest of economic stability and international goodwill.
In March 2014, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the third time ahead of the 2016 election. In the NPP primary conducted in October 2014, he was declared victor with 94.35% of the votes. Akufo-Addo also served as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014.
He focused his campaign on the economy, promising to stabilise the country’s foreign exchange rate and to reduce unemployment levels. On 9 December 2016, sitting president Mahama conceded defeat to Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo won the election with 53.83% of the votes against Mahama’s 44.4%.
Nana Addo has signed up for re-election by picking a nomination form as flagbearer of the New patriotic party ahead of the 2020 general elections.