Ghana. High oil and food prices drove inflation up. The
rate of increase in prices peaked in June at 18.4 per cent
and then declined marginally. According to
Countryaah reports, the state budget for 2008
predicted inflation of 6–8 percent.
Despite financial problems, a new presidential palace was
completed in Accra. The budget framework of US $ 30 million
was widely cracked and the final cost was estimated at close
to US $ 50 million. The opposition criticized the large
expenditures when austerity was recommended in other areas.
The building was financed with the help of a loan from the
Indian state and the main contractor was an Indian company.
In December, general elections were held. Despite Ghana
having achieved good stability and growth under eight years
of leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the New
Democratic Congress (NDC) retained the majority in
Parliament, albeit by a very small margin. The presidential
election also seemed to result in NDC victory. The
opposition party's candidate, former Vice President John
Atta Mills, had a tight but seemingly secure lead at the
turn of the year. Then the election remained in a single
constituency in early January. Former Minister of Justice
and Foreign Affairs Nana Akufo-Addo was running for NPP. The
last eight years President John Kufuor of NPP had to resign