Sunderland have an option to make the deal permanent after the end of the loan spell for a fee of around £7m.
The 26 year-old defender, who has over 50 international caps, is the sixth signing for Sunderland manager Steve Bruce.
Bruce said: "Im a huge admirer of John having seen him play on a number of occasions. Hes a solid, uncompromising defender who adds that extra steel and physical presence that I believe is essential to have in the top flight.
John is also very experienced at international level, having represented Ghana alongside the likes of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Stephen Appiah, hes also vice-captain of the side. To be a leader in such a big, strong squad speaks volumes about the lads character so Im delighted to have added him to our back line.