Key Timelines – Ghana

A chronology of key events:

1482 – Portuguese set up trading settlement.

1874 – British proclaim coastal area a crown colony.

1925 – First legislative council elections take place.

1957 March – Ghana becomes independent with Kwame Nkrumah as prime minister.

1960 – Ghana proclaimed a republic; Nkrumah elected president.

1964 – Ghana becomes a one-party state.

1966 – Nkrumah overthrown in military coup; Russian and Chinese technicians expelled.

1969 – New constitution facilitates transfer of power to civilian government led by Kofi Busia.

1972 – Busia ousted in military coup led by Colonel Ignatius Acheampong.

1978 – Acheampong forced to resign; General Frederick Akuffo takes over.

Rawlings era

1979 – Akuffo deposed in coup led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings. Acheampong and Akuffo executed.

1979 September – Rawlings hands over power to an elected president, Hilla Limann.

1981 – Limann ousted in military coup led by Rawlings after two years of weak government and economic stagnation.

1983 – Rawlings adopts conservative economic policies, abolishing subsidies and price controls, privatising many state enterprises and devaluing the currency.

1992 – Referendum approves new constitution introducing a multiparty system. Rawlings elected president.

1994 – One thousand people are killed and a further 150,000 are displaced in the Northern Region following ethnic clashes between the Konkomba and the Nanumba over land ownership.

1994 June – Seven ethnic groups involved in violence in Northern Region sign peace agreement.

1995 – Government imposes curfew in Northern Region as renewed ethnic violence results in a further 100 deaths.

1996 – Jerry Rawlings re-elected president.

Kufuor elected

2000 – December – John Kufuor beats Vice-President John Atta Mills in the presidential election.

2001 February – Petrol prices rise by 60% following the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies.

2001 April – Ghana accepts debt relief under a scheme designed by the World Bank and the IMF.

2001 May – National day of mourning after football stadium stampede leaves 126 dead. Inquiry blames police for overreacting to crowd trouble.

2001 June – Government scraps public holiday celebrating Rawling’s military coup in an effort to wipe out the legacy of his rule.

2001 June – Floods hit Accra, causing 10 deaths and forcing 100,000 to flee their homes.

2002 April – State of emergency is declared in the north after a tribal chief and more than 30 others are killed in clan violence. State of emergency is lifted in August 2004.

2002 May – President Kufuor inaugurates reconciliation commission to look into human rights violations during military rule.

2003 October – Government approves merger of two gold-mining firms, creating new gold-mining giant.

2004 February – Former President Jerry Rawlings testifies at commission investigating human rights offences during the early years of his rule.

2004 October – Group of current and former military personnel detained on suspicion of planning to destabilise government ahead of elections.

2004 December – Presidential poll: Incumbent John Kufuor wins a second term.

2005 April-May – Thousands of Togolese refugees arrive, fleeing political violence in their home country.

2006 April – A boat capsizes on Lake Volta reservoir; more than 100 passengers are feared drowned.

2006 June – Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promises to lend Ghana about $66m to fund development projects. He is on an African tour aimed at opening new export markets for China’s booming economy and at securing energy and mineral supplies.

2007 March – Ghana celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain.

Oil discovered

2007 June – Major off-shore oil discovery announced. President Kufuor says oil will turn Ghana into an “African tiger”.

2007 September – The worst floods for more than 30 years cause widespread devastation, destroying much of the annual harvest.

2007 December – President Kufuor says off-shore oil reserves total 3 billion barrels.

2008 December – John Atta Mills elected president.

2009 July – US President Barack Obama visits.

Ghana secures a $600m three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

President Mills ceremonially launches Ghana’s oil production

2009 October – Controversy over sale of national communications network Ghana Telecom, allegedly for less that it was worth.

2010 December – Offshore oil production begins.

2011 July – President John Atta Mills chosen as ruling National Democratic Congress party’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election, defeating Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, wife of former President Jerry Rawlings.

2011 August – UK-based oil exploration company Tullow Oil, says it will spend at least $4bn to develop oil fields off the coast of Ghana.

2012 June – Thousands are displaced by communal violence in the east, sparked by the exhumation of the body of a Muslim cleric.

2012 July – President Mills dies. John Mahama becomes interim head of state.

2012 September-October – Ivory Coast closes its borders with Ghana for two weeks after a deadly attack on an army checkpoint blamed on exiled supporters of ousted President Laurent Gbagbo.

2012 October – Ghana becomes embroiled in a row with Argentina after impounding an Argentine naval training vessel on behalf of creditors.

A Chinese boy is killed and some 100 Chinese are detained in an operation against illegal gold mining.

2012 December – President John Mahama wins re-election.

2013 Authorities arrest hundreds of Chinese and other migrants working in unlicensed gold mines. The government says around 4,700 illegal miners, most of them Chinese, were deported in 2013.

2013 August – The supreme court rejects an appeal by the main opposition NPP against President Mahama’s 2012 election victory.

2013 December – Ghana says Ivory Coast sent hit squads into the country to try to kidnap or kill exiled supporters of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. Ivory Coast denies the accusation.


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