Former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, has died at the age of 73.

Jerry Rawlings reportedly died from COVID-19 complications at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana, on Thursday morning.

Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947.

A military ruler, who later joined politics, he ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.

Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.

Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on May 15, 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981, as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the Fourth Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

 

After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000. He served as the African Union envoy to Somalia.