Nana Akufo-Addo is to be sworn in as Ghana’s new president on Saturday after beating incumbent leader John Dramani Mahama in elections last month. The 72-year-old former human rights lawyer will take the oath of office at a ceremony in Independence Square in central Accra before more than 6,000 guests and members of the public. Some 11 heads of state from across Africa are expected to attend, as well as the outgoing president, and former leaders John Rawlings and John Kufuor. Police in the capital have vowed to enforce tight security during the inauguration, with major roads in and around the venue cordoned off. Traders have already set up their stalls nearby hoping to cash in on the ceremony by selling Ghana flags and paraphernalia from Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party. Akufo-Addo’s electoral victory — and the peaceful transition of power — underlined Ghana’s position as a beacon of stability in an often turbulent region. – ‘Gold standard for democracy’ – One international observer described the West African country as a “gold standard for democracy in Africa”. The new president told AFP that after smooth handovers of power in his home country and places such as Nigeria, leaders wanting to stay in office at all costs were “fighting the tide of history”. In Nigeria — known for contested elections and its violent aftermath — Goodluck Jonathan made an unprecedented concession to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. But in the week of Akufo-Addo’s election, beaten president Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia promised to challenge the results of elections that he had previously accepted.
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