Democracy

Ghana Democracy and Political stability

Ghana is a strong and stable democracy in many ways, Ghana’s political scene is one of its most recognizable defining features.                                         Ghana in contrast to many of its neighbors, has had three decades of stability and 23 years of democracy, with free and open elections and comparatively low levels of corruption and a lack of broader social instability.

This, combined with rapid economic growth, has helped bolster investment, as have strong relations with the likes of the UK, the US, the EU and, increasingly, emerging powers such as China, India and South Africa.

After the then ruling DNC lost the election In the year 2000, the ruling NDC party handed over power to the opposition NPP in a peaceful matter. The same thing happened in 2008 when the NPP lost the election and handed over to the then opposition NDC.

Although there were disputes on the election results of 2004, the differences were resolved by a lawful Supreme Court case and ruling and not on the streets.

Ghana is rated as “free” by NGO Freedom House (of the categories not free, partly free and free), as is its press. The country is widely perceived as stable; for example, the World Economic Forum’s 2011-12 “Global Competitiveness Report” ranked “Coups and instability” last of 15 problematic factors for doing business in the country.

Whilst corruption is still an issue, the country is a strong performer in regional terms. The 2011 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Ghana second-least-corrupt in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), after Cape Verde.

These factors mark Ghana out as a major regional political success story. “Ghana is a flag-bearer for Democracy in Africa. 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 investor interest,” said Alasdair Hamilton,

The reasons commonly cited for Ghana’s status as a regional haven of stability and democracy include the fact that the country won its independence peacefully, as well as its diverse ethnic make-up; no ethnic group is sufficiently strong to threaten to monopolize power, and it is felt this obliges governments to reach out to all groups.

The country also has a strong sense of national identity that supersedes other affiliations such as ethnicity and tribe, more so than in many other African countries, which some attribute to factors such as an educational system in which people from different backgrounds tend to mix.