Dr. Hilla Limann

Dr. Hilla Limann

Dr. Hilla Limann is a distinguished diplomat and the third President of Ghana. Serving from September 24, 1979, to December 31, 1981, his life journey reflects resilience, academic excellence, and a commitment to the development of his nation.


12 December 1934


Originally named Babini, Limann was born on December 12, 1934, in Gwollu in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region.


17 January 1949


In 1949, Limann finished his basic school education at the Government Middle School, Tamale. Between 1957 and 1960, he pursued political science at the London School of Economics. Following that, he earned a diploma in French from Sorbonne University, France. Additionally, Limann obtained a BA (Hons) degree in history at the University of London and a Ph.D. in political science and Constitutional Law at the University of Paris.


17 January 1965

Diplomatic Career

Dr. Limann served as the head of the Europe Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ghana from 1965 to 1968, later becoming the head of Chancery/Official Secretary at the Ghana embassy in Lomé, Togo, in 1968. He played a key role in the Constitution Commission in 1967, drafting the 1969 Constitution of Ghana, and went on to be appointed counselor at Ghana's Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1971. Returning to Ghana, he assumed the position of head of the Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 1975.


17 January 1979


In the aftermath of the 1979 coup led by Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, Dr. Hilla Limann secured the presidency on the People’s National Party ticket. Enjoying significant backing from followers of the late Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, Limann entered the electoral arena after Alhaji Imoru Egala’s disqualification by the ruling Supreme Military Council. In the second round of voting, Limann triumphed with an impressive 62% of the popular vote, officially assuming the presidency on September 24, 1979.


17 January 1981


In 1981, Hilla Limann received the Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George from Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom. Additionally, during the same year, he was honored with the Order of the Yugoslav Great Star.”


31 December 1981

1981 coup

During his presidency, Dr. Limann distinguished himself as an economic moderate who ardently supported democratic principles and Pan-Africanism. However, his tenure was abruptly cut short on December 31, 1981, when Rawlings orchestrated another coup, removing Limann from power. This marked the end of the third republic of Ghana, making Limann the sole president of that era.


02 January 1998

Re-entry into politics (PNC) 

Undeterred by his ousting, Dr. Limann re-entered the political arena in 1992, following the conclusion of the PNDC military rule that had toppled him. This time, he contested the presidential election as the candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), a party he had founded. Despite his efforts, he secured only 6.7% of the popular vote, landing in third place. Nevertheless, he remained actively engaged in the Nkrumahist political movement in Ghana.


02 January 1998

Death and burial 

Hilla Limann, who faced chronic health issues, passed away on 23rd January, 1998 from natural causes. Survived by his wife, Fulera Limann, and seven children, namely Lariba Montia, Baba Limann, Sibi Andan, Lida Limann, Daani Limann, Zilla Limann, and Salma Limann, he was laid to rest in a private ceremony in his hometown, Gwollu, in the Sisala District of the Upper West Region at midnight on March 1, 1998. A government delegation, led by the then Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, attended to mourn with the family.



17 September 2019

Hilla Limann Foundation 

Established on the 40th anniversary of his presidency in September 2019, the Hilla Limann Foundation is a charity dedicated to ending human rights abuse through education, advocating for human development among the poor and vulnerable, fostering enlightenment about true democracy, and promoting awareness of human rights.

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