This is a list of the heads of state of Ghana, from the independence of Ghana in 1957 to the present day.

From 1957 to 1960 the head of state under the Constitution of 1957 was the Queen of Ghana, Elizabeth II, who was also the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen was represented in Ghana by a Governor-General. Ghana became a republic under the Constitution of 1960 and the Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.

Monarch (1957–1960)

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Portrait Monarch
(Birth–Death)
Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II 1959 (cropped).jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
6 March 1957 1 July 1960 3 years, 117 days Windsor Nkrumah

Governor-General

The Governor-General was the representative of the Monarch in Ghana and exercised most of the powers of the Monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. Since Ghana was granted independence by the Ghana Independence Act 1957, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous Dominion and later promoted to independence by the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was to be always appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Ghana without the involvement of the British government, with the sole exception of Charles Arden-Clarke, the former colonial governor, who served as Governor-General temporarily until he was replaced by William Hare. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Portrait Governor-General
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
1 The National Archives UK - CO 1069-43-9 - crop.jpg Sir Charles Arden-Clarke
(1898–1962)
6 March 1957 14 May 1957 69 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah
No image.png Sir Kobina Arku Korsah
(1894–1967)
14 May 1957 13 November 1957 183 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah
2 No image.png The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Listowel
(1906–1997)
13 November 1957 1 July 1960 2 years, 231 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah

First Republic (1960–1966)

Under the 1960 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the President replaced the Monarch as executive head of state. The President was elected by Parliament for a 5-year term. In the event of a vacancy three Members of the Cabinet served jointly as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes three Members of the Cabinet acting jointly as President
Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Kwame Nkrumah (JFKWHP-AR6409-A).jpg Kwame Nkrumah
(1909–1972)
1960
1965
1 July 1960 26 February 1966
(deposed.)
5 years, 240 days Convention People's Party

Military rule (1966–1969)

Lieutenant-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah led a coup d'état which overthrew President Nkrumah and his government, all political parties and Parliament were also dissolved.

Portrait Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Military
Took office Left office Time in office
2 No image.png Lieutenant-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah
(1915–1992)
24 February 1966 2 April 1969
(resigned.)
3 years, 37 days National Liberation Council
3 No image.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
2 April 1969 3 September 1969 154 days National Liberation Council

Second Republic (1969–1972)

Status
  Denotes Speaker of Parliament and acting President
Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
(3) No image.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
3 September 1969 7 August 1970 338 days Military Busia
No image.png Nii Amaa Ollennu
(1906–1986)
7 August 1970 31 August 1970 24 days Independent
4 No image.png Edward Akufo-Addo
(1906–1979)
31 August 1970 13 January 1972
(deposed.)
1 year, 135 days Independent

Military rule (1972–1979)

General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led a coup d'état which overthrew the President Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister Abrefa Busia and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo led a coup d'état which overthrew the General Acheampong then Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état which overthrown the Supreme Military Council.

Portrait Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Military
Took office Left office Time in office
5 No image.png General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
(1931–1979)
13 January 1972 9 October 1975 6 years, 173 days National Redemption Council
9 October 1975 5 July 1978
(deposed.)
Supreme Military Council
6 No image.png Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo
(1937–1979)
5 July 1978 4 June 1979
(deposed.)
334 days Supreme Military Council
7 Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
4 June 1979 24 September 1979 112 days Armed Forces Revolutionary Council

Third Republic (1979–1981)

Under the 1979 Constitution the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by Ghanaians and serves a four-year term that expires at the next general election; a President may serve a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy the Vice-President serves as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
8 Hilla Limann.jpg Hilla Limann
(1934–1998)
1979 24 September 1979 31 December 1981
(deposed.)
2 years, 98 days People's National Party

Military rule (1981–1993)

Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état which overthrew President Limann and his government, all political parties and Parliament were also dissolved.

Portrait Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
(7) Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
31 December 1981 7 January 1993 11 years, 7 days Provisional National Defence Council

Fourth Republic (1993–present)

Under the current Constitution the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by Ghanaians and serves a four-year term that expires at the next general election; a President may serve a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy, the Vice-President serves the remaining time as the President.

Status
  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
(7) Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
1992
1996
7 January 1993 7 January 2001 8 years, 0 days National Democratic Congress
9 John Kufuor 080915-A-8817J-090.JPG John Kufuor
(1938–)
2000
2004
7 January 2001 7 January 2009 8 years, 0 days New Patriotic Party
10 John Atta-Mills election poster (cropped).jpg John Atta Mills
(1944–2012)
2008 7 January 2009 24 July 2012
(died in office.)
3 years, 199 days National Democratic Congress
11 John Dramani Mahama 2014 (cropped).jpg John Mahama
(1958–)
2012 24 July 2012 7 January 2017 4 years, 167 days National Democratic Congress
12 Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg Nana Akufo-Addo
(1944–)
2016 7 January 2017 Incumbent 3 years, 45 days New Patriotic Party

Standards

Living former heads of state

Image Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Elizabeth II 1957–1960 Queen of Ghana (1926-04-21) 21 April 1926 (age 93)
Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings 1979
1981–1993
1993–2001
Military ruler
President of Ghana
(1947-06-22) 22 June 1947 (age 72)
John Agyekum Kufuor - World Economic Forum on Africa 2008.jpg John Kufuor 2001–2009 President of Ghana (1938-12-08) 8 December 1938 (age 81)
John Dramani Mahama 2014 (cropped).jpg John Dramani Mahama 2012–2017 President of Ghana (1958-11-29) 29 November 1958 (age 61)

References


External links