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Ghana's President to be sworn in

07 January 2013, 09:12 Chris Stein

Accra - Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama will be sworn into office on Monday following last month's polls in a ceremony to be boycotted by the opposition, which has claimed fraud and challenged the results in court.

The 54-year-old Mahama, who initially became head of state after the death of his predecessor John Atta Mills in July, won the 7 December  elections with 50.7% of the vote compared to main opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo's 47.7%.

Observer groups hailed the polls as another successful election in the country viewed as a stable democracy in turbulent West Africa, but Akufo-Addo's party has alleged the vote was stolen.

The stakes were especially high in the election, with the newly elected president in charge of a growing stream of oil revenue.

West Africa's second-largest economy and a longtime producer of gold and cocoa, Ghana started pumping oil in 2010, and now produces 105 000 barrels per day.

With oil flowing and Ghana's economy growing at a rate of 14.3% in 2011, how Mahama invests the country's boom money will be closely watched.

While it is considered a lower middle-income country by the World Bank, Ghana continues to struggle with infrastructure development.

Rural areas are plagued with potholed roads and most people rely on fresh water sold in sachets.

Though high-rise malls and apartments are being constructed across the capital Accra, Isaac Owusu-Mensah, a lecture at the University of Ghana, says Mahama will be judged on how much he improves lives for Ghanaians in the far-flung reaches of the country.



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