Tomorrow, Ghana marks a special occasion. We say good-bye to President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and hello to President John Evans Atta-Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The world is watching and Ghana has supposedly demonstrated for the whole of Africa how an incumbent government can give way to an opposition party peacefully. Of course the most interesting fact for me is that this is the 3rd successive president with the name "John".
I will miss President Kufuor for the dignity and humility he gave to the Ghanaian presidency over the past 8 years. I had the honour of meeting him twice . Once as "Candidate Kufuor" in 2000 and the second time as "President Kufuor " in 2006. I was struck by the fact that despite the obvious changes to his circumstances his warm demeanour remained the same. Time will indeed judge JA Kufuor's legacy so there is no need for me to catalogue the Kufuor administration's credits or mis-steps.
With a winning margin of 0.46% (or is that 0.23%?), we welcome Professor John Evans Atta-Mills as President of the Republic of Ghana. Unfortunately, I will miss seeing the ceremony on television but hopefully a lot of Ghanaian rather than party flags will be waved. Our country is in dire need of unity. Best of luck to President Atta-Mills as he takes up office!