Beyond Successful Elections: An Evaluation of Ghana’s “Shiny” Democracy

January 17, 2018
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm

About the event

Ghana has had seven peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections since its transition from military rule in 1992. Successive Ghanaian governments have managed to maintain a fairly stable economy with some semblance of rule of law, and the country is recognized as one of the strongest democracies in sub-Saharan Africa. Compared to the records of some of its neighbors, Ghanaian democracy is a strong performer, yet key challenges remain. Endemic corruption, high unemployment, and weak social services are eroding trust in the system, leaving some to question whether democracy can deliver development and economic growth. An increasing number of citizens are beginning to view the Chinese and Rwandan models of governance in a more favorable light. Popular radio host Nana Ama Agyemang Asante discussed the shortcomings of Ghana’s democracy and argued that successful elections, economic stability, and peace should not be the only criteria of a functioning democracy.


  • Nana Ama Agyemang Asante, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

With comments from: 

  • Dave Peterson, Senior Director of Africa Program, National Endowment for Democracy

Moderated by:

  • Sally Blair, Senior Director of Fellowship Programs, National Endowment for Democracy

About the Speakers

Ms. Nana Ama Agyemang Asante is co-host of the “Citi Breakfast Show” (CBS), a highly popular, public-interest radio show broadcast daily on the Accra-based station Citi FM. She is also deputy online editor of Citi FM’s news website,, supervising the publication of timely stories and helping to direct national attention toward a range of social issues, including minority rights. From 2011 to 2014, she served as country coordinator for Journalists for Human Rights, a Canadian NGO promoting the coverage of human rights and governance stories across the African continent. In 2015, she was named Radio Personality of the Year by African entertainment network M24 for consistently speaking truth to power.

Dave Peterson is the senior director of the Africa program at the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 1988, Peterson has been responsible for NED’s program to identify and assist hundreds of African non-governmental organizations and activists working for democracy, human rights, free press, justice, and peace. He was formerly executive director of Project South Africa of the A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund, and a freelance journalist in Africa and Turkey. He has a BA from Columbia College and an MS from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, as well as an MA in African Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.


All cameras and media must register with NED public affairs. Please email to register as a member of the press.

Twitter: Follow @ThinkDemocracy and use #NEDEvents to join the conversation.


Image Credit: Oluniyi Ajao/Flickr