Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
President John Atta Mills, who took office in January 2009, spent his first year in power working to fulfill campaign promises by investigating corruption, increasing government transparency, and improving living standards for the poor. However, he also had to contend with the effects of the global economic crisis, and it remained unclear whether his administration would prove effective.
While Ghana has been working to move away from donor dependency, the government was forced to make exceptions for the economic crisis in 2009. It was awarded $1.2 billion in interest-free loans over three years from the World Bank and $602.6 million from the International Monetary Fund to help tackle “macroeconomic instability.” The government also expected to benefit from new oil production beginning in 2010.
Ghana is an electoral democracy. The December 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections were considered fair and competitive. The president and vice president are directly elected on the same ticket for up to two four-year terms.Members of the unicameral, 230-seat Parliament are also elected for four-year terms.
The country serves as a source and transit point for human trafficking, including for child labor and sexual exploitation. In 2009, following undercover work conducted by a journalist working for the New Crusading Guide newspaper, three Chinese nationals were sentenced to a combined 36 years of hard labor for trafficking fellow Chinese for prostitution in Ghana.