Jerry Rawlings

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Jerry Rawlings (2009)

Jerry John Rawlings , also called JJ (Junior Jesus) (born June 22, 1947 in Accra ), was President of Ghana from 1981 to 2001 .


Rawlings was born to a Scotsman and an Ewe . After attending school at Achimoto College, he went to Great Britain and studied economics . After joining the army , he attended the military academy in Teshie and became a captain in the air force.

First coup

In mid-May 1979 he and other comrades in the Ghanaian army attempted a first coup against the military government of President Akuffo . This failed, and Rawlings was jailed for mutiny . Shortly before his execution he was freed by putschists. They had undertaken a successful coup d'état on June 4, 1979. The initiator of the coup and head of the junta was Major Kojo Boakye-Djan. His three predecessors, Afrifa , Acheampong and Akuffo, were brought before a firing squad in June . In July of that year, elections took place and Rawlings handed power on September 24, 1979 to the elected President Hilla Limann , who dismissed Rawlings from the army as captain (the contract as a contract soldier had already ended).

Second coup

After being used as a puppet in 1979, Rawlings overthrew Limann on December 31, 1981 and became dictator for the next twenty years or so. He remained in power, even if his power was occasionally challenged, as in a so-called "counter coup" (1982) and an attempted coup in July 1983.

The original drive for Rawlings' activity was the fight against corruption and the implementation of socialist reforms. In 1985 and 1986, respectively, he agreed with Burkina Faso's President Thomas Sankara that the two states would be fully amalgamated within ten years, but with the assassination of Sankara in 1987 this project of a West African union failed . Over time, Rawlings tended more towards a market economy . In the economic field, Ghana could show successes during his tenure, but he was criticized on the question of human rights . The situation improved when he gave the country a new constitution in 1992.

In 1992 and 1996 he was re-elected in elections that were granted a measure of fairness. 2001 his term of office ended. His previous Vice President John Atta-Mills took over and was defeated by John Agyekum Kufuor . Kufor had previously challenged Rawlings in the 1996 election.

In 1993 he was awarded the Africa Prize by the non-governmental organization The Hunger project in Tokyo . In August 2005, the Ghanaian press caught threats against the judiciary from Rawlings, who are investigating some deaths from the summer of 1982. ''

See also

Individual evidence

  1. The "Flight Lieutenant" corresponds to the rank of a captain.
  2. Jerry J. Rawlings | head of state, Ghana. Retrieved April 1, 2020 .
  3. Rawlings? Threats to the Judiciary Must be Taken Seriously

Web links


  • Christian Kohrs: Nkrumah-Rawlings. An approximation of the political thinking of two Ghanaian statesmen. Books on African Studies, 2001