Ghana prides itself on being entirely democratic and is seen as being a model for political and economic reform in Africa. In 1992, a multi-party constitution was agreed upon in a referendum, forming the basis of the democratic system that is in place today.

Ghana rates highly on most of the basic measures of democracy, including protection of fundamental civil liberties and human rights. Over the past two decades, the country has been successful in holding free and fair elections, decreasing poverty, and moving toward the achievement of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These are significant accomplishments. Where Ghanaian democracy has been less successful is in the nature and scope of the participation of most political actors in the country’s governance processes and institutions beyond elections. Effective participation in the making and implementation of public policy has been limited to small political elite which has succeeded in capturing the presidency, albeit through fairly competitive elections, and with it control of the public resources that the constitution places under control of the executive branch

The current Head of State is Edward Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after the sudden death of John Atta Mills in August 2012. Although the NDC party can boast high levels of economic growth throughout their tenure, the oil bonanza has so far failed to translate into the promised boost in living standards. A close fought election campaign is predicted in December 2012.