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Ghana’s former President Jerry Rawlings dies at 73

GHANA’S former leader Jerry Rawlings, who seized power twice in military coups but went on to bring democratic rule to the West African country, has died at the age of 73.

Rawlings, who went on to become one of Africa’s charismatic leaders, died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, after a short illness. 

Rawlings overthrew then-ruler General Frederick Akuffo in 1979 when he was an army lieutenant. He handed over power to civilian rule soon after but then led another coup two years later, decrying the overnment’s corruption and weak leadership.

From 1981 to 1993, Rawlings ruled as chairman of a joint military-civilian government. In 1992 he was elected president under a new constitution, taking up that office the following year and serving two terms before handing over power to John Kufour who succeeded him in 2001. Rawlings went to school at Achimota School and attended the Teshie Military Academy. He was married to Nana Konadu Agyeman and they have three daughters, Zanetor, Yaa Asantewaa, Amina and a son, Kimathi. – Thomson Reuters Foundation and African Mirror Reporter.