Jan 17 2009

Ghana’s great leap forward

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 3:46 PM

The unexpected victory of opposition candidate Atta Mills in Ghana’s run-off presidential election is a reminder that sometimes elections do matter in Africa. After eight desultory years under the  avuncular but ineffective John Kufuor, the dominant New Patriotic Party put up a complacent candidate to go against two-time loser Atta Mills, who triumphed in a squeaker. My good friend Nana Kofi Coomson, publisher of the Ghanaian Chronicle, the leading independent newspaper in the country, views the unexpected victory by the protégé of former dictator Jerry Rawlings as potential a turning point in Ghana’s democratic history. “Mills has surrounded himself with brainy people, lots of talent,” Coomson writes. Among the talent is dynamic vice president John Mahama. While fears abound over the integrity of a Mills government – especially given the vast amount of foreign aid Ghana receives, especially from the U.S. – the peaceful transfer of power between political parties underscores the commitment in Ghana to a new style of African politics.

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