Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

In pictures: Ghana's inauguration

A rider entertains supporters of the National Democratic Congress in Ghana

There was a carnival atmosphere in Ghana's capital, Accra, on the day of the inauguration of John Atta Mills as president.

John Atta Mills wearing Kente clothe

Mr Atta Mills won a cliff-hanger election victory for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), beating the ruling party's candidate by a margin of less than 0.5% of votes.

A supporter of the National Democratic Congress kisses the portrait of President John Atta Mills

Tens of thousands of people descended on Independence Square wearing NDC party colours and there were lively celebrations.

The defeated ruling party's presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo arrives for the inauguration

Defeated presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo also attended the inauguration, a sign, the BBC's Will Ross says, that Ghana has a relatively mature democracy.

Former President and founder of the ruling National Democratic Convention John Rawlings (r) at the inauguration

Former president and NDC founder Jerry Rawlings (right) was also at the ceremony. He saw his former rival John Kufuor stand down as president after serving the maximum two terms.

Nigeria's President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (left) and Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe (right) arrive for the inauguration

Reporters say many Ghanaians were proud to see the country setting a good example to the region. Nigeria's leader Umaru Yar'Adua (left) was one of several heads of state who attended the ceremony.

John Ata Mills holding aloft a sword

After he was sworn in, Mr Atta Mills raised up the State Sword - representing government authority - to cheers from the crowd.

John Ata Mills holding a Bible

And in his first address, the 64-year-old spoke of a new dawn in Ghana and promised to lead an open and honest government.

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