LSE International Development alum and freelance writer, Noble Kofi Nazzah looks at the life and legacy of Jerry Rawlings, Ghana’s former President and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
This piece was first published on Foreignpolicy.com.
Ask any Ghanaian to guess which political party I am likely to support and they will, without mincing words, tell you the National Democratic Congress (NDC). That assumption stems from the fact that my family comes from the Volta region of Ghana.
The founder of the NDC was Jerry John Rawlings, who ruled Ghana as a military dictator and as a democratically elected president from 1981 to 1992 and from 1993 to 2001, respectively, and who died last month in a state hospital in Accra. Rawlings’s father was Scottish and his mother was from the Volta region, which is why the party he founded still gets more than 80 percent of the votes there.
Politics in Ghana is still very ethnically divided; the voters in the Ashanti region overwhelmingly vote for presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is why people reflexively assume my political allegiance is a function of my ethnicity. (It’s not; I believe that politics should transcend ethnicity and that politicians must convince voters to back them on the basis of policy.) Continue reading at Foreignpolicy.com.