Ghana was the first black African nation to gain independence from British Colonial rule on March 6, 1957.
But politics in Ghana predates its independence. The first political party was formed in August 1947. Since then, Ghanaians have deeply involved themselves in politics.
Every sector has its most powerful people, the ones who move and shake things. This also applies to Ghanaian politics.
After independence, there have been coups organised by different people for various reasons.
However, it has been 25 years under the Fourth Republic and a number of politicians contributed to this. They are the power players in the country’s politics.
Here are 10 of the most powerful politicians in Ghana.
1. Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo
Before he became Ghana’s head of state, Nana Akufo-Addo was a Member of Parliament for Akim-Abuakwa South in the Eastern Region. He also served as Minister in the Kufuor administration. He contested as the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for three consecutive times before becoming President. His tenure ends in 2020. He is yet to state if he will contest for a second term in office.
As president, he is the most powerful person in the land.
2. John Dramani Mahama
Mr Mahama was the President of Ghana from 2012 to January 6, 2017. He was the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the 2016 general elections. He lost to Nana Akufo-Addo. Mahama is currently contesting the flagbearer position in the primaries of the NDC. He can be described as one powerful person in Ghanaian politics due to his influence in the main opposition party and on the country as a whole.
3. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
The economist is Ghana’s current Vice President. He has been the running mate for Nana Akufo-Addo all the times he has contested as the presidential candidate in elections. As Vice President, he is the head of the government's economic team. He has been described as Ghana’s whiz-kid in recent times due to his knowledge in economics.
4. Jerry John Rawlings
He is Ghana’s first president of the fourth republic. He is also Ghana’s longest serving President. Rawlings served as President for 20 years. His power comes from his ability to hand over as Head of State to a different party after elections 2008. Even though he is no longer president, he is very influential in his party and Ghana as a whole.
5. John Agyekum Kufuor
He succeeded Rawlings. Kufuor is often referred to as the ‘gentle giant’ due to his height and his demeanour. He was president from 2001 to 2009. His influence has never been in doubt but that shot up when the NPP won the 2016 election. He is respected nationally, commands massive influence within the NPP and has the ear of the president at all times.
6. Asiedu Nketiah
General Mosquito, as he is popularly referred to, is the General Secretary of the NDC. He has a people even from other political parties who revere him. Many people in the NDC acknowledge his statements as the final say on matters. As the mouthpiece of the NDC, he is seen as one who knows the ins and outs of the party.
7. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare
She is currently the Chief of Staff. Akosua Frema is also the first woman to occupy this position in Ghana’s history. When she was appointed many argued that being she will not deliver as much as her male counterparts who served in the capacity. But she has proven that women, when given the opportunity, can excel in all areas just as men.
8. Kennedy Agyapong
He is a Member of Parliament for Assin Central constituency in the Central Region. He is also a financier of the NPP. He also gives money to some members of the opposition NDC in support of their political ambitions.
9. Haruna Iddrisu
He is the Minority leader of Ghana’s Parliament. Many have said that he is being groomed to contest as a presidential candidate one day. Among the minority members in Parliament, he wields so much power and is seen as a figure of authority.
10. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu
The Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs has been a legislator since 1997 till date. The minority and majority sides of Parliament respect him. Most Parliamentarians see him as one of the very powerful in Ghana’s politics. He has even helped campaign for some MPs on the NDC ticket in their constituencies before. He is seen as one of the few who can reach and talk to the President at any time. Some say this is due to the position he occupies.