John Dramani Mahama, born 29 November 1958 is the President of the Republic of Ghana. He is a communication expert, historian, writer, former Member of Parliament and Minister of State and former Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana. He succeeded John Atta Mills to the presidency following Mills death on 24 July, 2012.
EARLY YEARS AND EDUCATION.
Mahama was born in Damango, which is in the Northern Region of Ghana. His father Emmanuel Adama Mahama was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja Constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during Ghana’s First Republic.
Upon the successful completion of that programme, Mr. Mahama then went on to pursue an additional postgraduate diploma, this one in social psychology at the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.
After completing his education Mr. Mahama returned to Ghana and, from 1991 to 1996, he worked as the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra. From there he moved to the nongovernmental agency (NGO) PLAN International’s Ghana Country Office, where he worked as International Relations, Sponsorship Communications and Grants Manager.
AS MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
An eloquent champion of the underprivileged, Mahama was first elected to the Parliament of Ghana in 1996 to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term. In April 1997, Mr. Mahama was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications. He rose to become the substantive Minister of Communications by November 1998; it was a position he held until January 2001 when the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was the current ruling party, handed over power to the newly elected New Patriotic Party’s government.
In 2000, Mahama was re-elected for another four-year term as the Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi Constituency. He was again re-elected in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, Mahama served as the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed the Director of Communications for the NDC. That same year, he served as a member of the team of international observers selected to monitor Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Elections.
During his tenure as Minister of Communications, Mahama also served as the Chairman of the National Communications Authority, in which capacity he played a key role in stabilising Ghana’s telecommunications sector after it was deregulated in 1997. Mr. Mahama also served as a member of the National Economic Management Team, a founding member of the Ghana AIDS Commission, a member of the implementation committee of the 2000 National Population Census, and a deputy chairman of the Publicity Committee for the re-introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT). Continuing to expand his interest and involvement in international affairs, in 2003 Mr. Mahama became a member of the Pan-African Parliament, serving as the Chairperson of the West African Caucus. In 2005 he was, additionally, appointed the Minority Spokesman for Foreign Affairs. On January 7, 2009, Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana.
Mahama has seven children. He is married to Lordina Mahama. Despite his often busy schedule, Mr. Mahama makes it a point to devote time to his family, his faith and his hobbies. He is a Christian who believes in the importance of respect for, and tolerance of, other faiths and forms of worship in a nation as diverse and peaceful as Ghana. He has a keen interest in environmental affairs, particularly the problem of plastic pollution in Africa, which he has committed himself to addressing during his tenure as Vice President.
In line with Ghana’s constitution, Mahama became the President of Ghana on July 24, 2012 upon the death of his predecessor, John Atta Mills.
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