GHANA AT GLANCE
The Political System of Ghana
A strong and stable democracy
Ghana is considered to be one of the more stable countries in West Africa. Since its transition to multi-party democracy in 1992, the country has made major strides towards consolidating its democratic achievements. There have been five free and fair elections in the past 20 years and two peaceful transfers of power, which is enough in itself to attract substantial investors’ interests.
Ghana ranks 27th globally and 2nd in Africa in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index which measures the pluralism, independence of the media, quality of the legislative framework and safety of journalists in each of the 180 countries in the ranking. The broadcast media in Ghana is the strongest, with radio being the most far-reaching medium of communication putting Ghana in an enviable political position and formidable social capital.
Ghana’s governance has received significant progress through the strengthening of its democratic credentials. There are 24 registered political parties in Ghana according to the Electoral Commission. The landscape is dominated however by two parties. The longest traditional democracy in Africa has been practiced by Ghana.
The Democratic Role Model
The 1992 constitution mandates a multi-party system of governance with the President as the Head of State. The tenure of the President is limited to a maximum of two terms of four years each. One of the principal attractions of Ghana as an Investment destination is its status as one of the best governed and stable states in the Sub-Saharan region.
The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) which assesses the performance of various countries by measuring the extent to which they meet the expectations of citizens politically, socially, and economically has ranked Ghana 7th in the 2016 index. On Safety and Rule of Law, Ghana was placed at 6th but was ranked 14th, 23rd, 11th and 5th in the sub-categories of Rule of Law, accountability personal safety and national security respectively.
The administrative region of Ghana is divided into 16 regions which are sub-divided into Metropolitan and District assemblies. Of the assemblies, 70% is elected by universal suffrage with the remaining 30% based on experience or ability to excel in a particular field.
The independence of the Judiciary has helped strengthened the country’s good governance and reputation, and where weaknesses in the system has been identified, the authorities have acted swiftly to remedy these weaknesses.
The country also has a strong sense of national identity and unity that supersedes other affiliations such as ethnicity and tribe, arising out of an educational system in which people from different backgrounds tend to mix.
While religious sentiment is strong, tensions between various religious groups are low. An estimated 71% of Ghana’s population is Christian, divided between Pentecostals, Protestants, Catholics, and other denominations. About 17% is Muslim and around 9% follow traditional religions.