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Akufo-Addo, Rawlings, Kufour & Mahama Get Together: This Doesn’t Often Happen in Africa

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It is not common to see this in Africa: Four presidents of one country, including the sitting president, in one place. And when it’s congenial, it is even rarer.

That is what happened in Ghana on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, when the current president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, hosted former presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufour and John Dramani Mahama.

Not much has been said officially about the agenda of the meeting which took place in Accra at the Flagstaff House. The general idea however is that of a discussion based on the state and wellbeing of the country. It was initiated by the sitting president.

Many things have been alluded to in connection to this meeting. Some view it as purely cosmetic. Others think President Akufo-Addo genuinely values the experience of his predecessors and wants to tap into their wisdom.

Indeed, the campaigns are over and it is time to govern. 

Not too long ago, Mahama was the sitting president and Akufo-Addo his archrival.

If the campaign rhetoric these two targeted at each other were anything to go by, one would ask what has changed so quickly.

Nevertheless, in a culture where the line between faith and politics blurs considerably, it is not surprising that many citizens see this move as strongly positive and hail their leaders for making it possible.

Ghana is known to be a model of peace and stability in a region fragile in many ways. 

The idea of knowledge sharing between the Ghanaian president and none other than his predecessors, including one he unseated, is a bold initiative. 

Even if the move is merely cosmetic – the optics cannot be ruled out as exemplary.

Filed by Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey

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