A new presidential palace has been officially inaugurated in the capital Accra less than a month before general elections on 7 December. The structure, known as Golden Jubilee House, is located north of Sankara Circle on the site of Flagstaff House, which was the residence of independent Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah. Built with a US$30 million loan from the Indian government, it holds the president’s office and residence, the vice-president’s office and offices for supporting staff. Work on the project is reported to be 70-80 per cent complete and should be finished early next year.
Commissioned by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2005, the new palace replaces the existing seat of government at Osu castle, which proponents say is no longer adequate and is tainted by historical links with slavery. The project has come under strong criticism from opponents because of the difficulty of securing its location, building methods and cost. However, the presidential candidate for the main opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Atta-Mills, has said he will not shun the building if elected in December.