Former Ghanian President Jerry Rawlings dies after Short Illness

Jerry Rawlings
Jerry Rawlings

Ghana’s former president Jerry Rawlings has died, according to the state’s Radio Ghana and the president. H was was 73.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said that Rawlings died Thursday morning at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the capital, Accra, where he had been receiving treatment after a short illness.

“A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss,” he said in an official statement after sending condolences to the family and announcing that flags would fly at half-mast for 7 days as the nation prepares for a state funeral.

Rawlings was born in 1947 to a Scottish father and a Ghanaian mother who died in September at the age of 101. Rawlings, who trained as an air force officer, came to power in 1979 after leading his first coup, and then transferring power to civilian rule soon after.

In December 1981, he staged a second coup and was Ghana’s military leader until he introduced multi-party elections in 1992 that returned the country to democracy. He won the elections and was sworn in as president in 1993 and served two elected four-year terms, leaving office in 2001.

His longtime friend and later his rival, Maj. Kojo Boakye Gyan who served as spokesman for the party that took over after the first coup, told The Associated Press that Rawling’s death was a loss for Ghana.

“He was God’s gift to the country and l can only ask that God keeps his soul in peace,” said Gyan.

Soon after his death was announced, crowds started gathering at his Ridge Office in Accra.

Rawlings is survived by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman, whom he met while at Achimota School. They have three daughters: Zanetor Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings, Amina Rawlings; and one son, Kimathi Rawlings.



  1. True son of Africa. Even in sickness, he sought medical attention in his own country.

    Our leaders evacuate themselves abroad everytime they have a minor illness.

  2. A great leader……following the constitution and not falling into the dictator honey trap even though he could have easily done so.

  3. In Zambia a coloured can’t be a president. coloureds are humans born from interracial marriages. Even Lubinda forgets that he is not a qualified Zambian.

  4. Nostra, lubinda is a million times zambian than you will ever be. In fact you ain’t zambian as we know you have taken up the citizenship of your colonial masters. Useless makaka

  5. He was a dictator many years through a coup. Ati Lt Rawllings. Then formed a constitution and placed himself as civilian president. Only good thing he loved country with formation of ujamaa type villages. But was truly a dictator

  6. Almost all Jr military officers who served throughout the 80s (myself included) in almost all African countries looked up to this man. Even after staging the coup he never had himself promoted to a higher rank which he could easily have done as did the likes of Mobuto, Idi Amin and others. Rawlings was a man of the people, it was a bloody coup which was unfortunate, however he regretted the deaths and tried to make amends after that. RIP true son of Africa, go thee well Fl Lt J. J Rawlings.

  7. Very sad development. Nkani ya mu kachasu had it that J J Rawlings was accused of being a Zambian in Ghana. He was a charismatic leader, he led a simple life

  8. Its a great loss to the whole of Africa, he was a great who changed the mindset Africans. I believe the man was so close to his dear mother having passed on in September this year this could have affected him. We will dearly miss him. MHSRIP

  9. Sad day for Africa. He was indeed a great African leader with lots of charisma. Like all of us one day, his journey has come to an end. May his sould rest peacefully.

  10. Hell Fire awaits this dictator. He spilled blood for his own selfish interests . Let him burn in Hell like T-born steak.

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