The death of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was among the huge losses experienced by Ghanaians in 2018.
Annan, who died in Switzerland on 18 August 2018, was given a national burial. Before his death, the West African country had lost the former Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah–Arthur, who collapsed at the Air Force Gym on 29th June 2018 and was pronounced death at the 37 Military Hospital.
Apart from the death of these notable personalities, the year 2018 recorded a number of social, economic and political events that shocked the general public.
In the sports sector, the Ghana Football Federation had its fair share of upset in 2018. The investigative piece by an ace Ghanaian journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his team, uncovered what they titled Number 12, When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm.
The investigative piece did not only surprise many football loving Ghanaians, but resulted in the disgraceful end of one of Africa’s football gurus, Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was former President of the Ghana Football Association.
Nyantakyi was handed a lifetime ban by FIFA and a fine of CHF 500,000 for corruption, while Ghana football is run by the FIFA Normalisation Committee.
Another ugly event in sports in 2018 was the visa scandal, which rocked the country in the wake of the Commonwealth Games hosted by Australia. However, the Deputy Sports Minister Pius Hadzide and Kwadwo Baah Agyemang were reinstated after they were exonerated by an investigative team.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo suspended three of his appointees, namely the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide; the Acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah as well as the National Sports Authority Board Chairman, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang.
In politics, the removal of Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her two deputies came as a surprise to the general public as it was perceived to be politically motivated.
A letter from the government (Jubilee House) announcing their removal said that Osei, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwa misconducted themselves and were incompetent. Osei was replaced by Jean Mensa, the head of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
But the year was good for telecommunications giant, MTN. Ghana’s largest telecommunications service provider raised ¢444 million in its Initial Public Offer (IPO). Official figures showed that about GH¢444m out of the GH¢1.14 billion raised came from Ghanaians, representing about 38.69%. About GH¢703 million was also raised from non-Ghanaians, representing about 61.31 percent. The figures also showed that out of the 128,152 applicants, 127,826 were Ghanaians while 326 were non-Ghanaians.
The tsunami that rocked the banking sector last year started in March when the Bank of Ghana took over the management of UniBank Ghana Limited and four others after declaring them insolvent.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison, said at a press conference that the takeover was due to the challenges facing the five banks.
He explained that weak supervisory standards and weak operations were responsible for the challenges. More than 3000 banking staff lost their jobs in the exercise.