A three-day state funeral for Ghana's president John Atta Mills began in Accra on Wednesday, with thousands of mourners taking to the streets and lampposts, trees and state buildings draped in black and red.
Mills died at age 68 last month, after a quiet battle against throat cancer. He had been expected to run for a second term in office in December.
The casket, draped in the national colours of red, gold and green, was carried by members of the Air Force and placed in a hearse brimming with flowers.
It was to be taken to Accra's state house for public viewing, ahead of Friday's burial at a park adjacent to the city's main landmark, Independence Square.
Up to 15 regional leaders, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are expected to attend Friday's service for the man credited with transparently managing Ghana's new-found oil wealth.
They include Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, President Yayi Boni of Benin and Ivory Coast's leader Alassane Ouattara. (dpa/NAN)