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Full Name: John Dramani Mahama
Party Affiliation: National Democratic Congress
Born: 29 November 1958 (age 53)
Hometown: Bole, Northern Region
Occupation: Communication Expert
Current Office: President of Ghana
Previous Office: Vice President of Ghana, Minister of State, Member of Parliament
Education: University of Ghana, Legon, Institute of Social Sciences, Moscow
His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is a writer, historian, communications expert, former Member of Parliament and Minister of State, and sitting President of the Republic of Ghana. Mr. Mahama was born in 1958 in Damango in the Northern Region of Ghana. His father, Mr. Emmanuel Adama Mahama, was the first Member of Parliament for the Gonja West Constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during Ghana’s First Republic.
President Mahama attended Achimota School, Primary Department, Ghana Secondary School, Tamale in the Northern Region for his Ordinary and Advance level GCE certificates and the University of Ghana, Legon, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history in 1981 and a postgraduate degree in communication studies in 1986. Following this, he travelled to the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow, Soviet Union for further studies.
After completing his education, President Mahama returned to Ghana and, from 1991 to 1996, worked as the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.
From there he moved to the non-governmental 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, President 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, he was then appointed as 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, President 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, President 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. He 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 President 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.
In line with Ghana’s constitution, President Mahama became President of Ghana on 24 July 2012 on the death of his predecessor, President Prof. John Atta Mills.
Personal life and interests
He is married to Mrs. Lordina Mahama, with whom he has seven children. He is a Christian. His family is multi-faith consisting of Christians and Muslims. He has a keen interest in environmental affairs, particularly the problem of plastic pollution in Africa, which he committed himself to addressing during his tenure as Vice President.
President Mahama’s first book, a memoir called My First Coup d’État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa, was published by Bloomsbury on 3 July 2012. He recalls in its first chapter the day in 1966 when he learned of the ousting of Ghana’s founding president, Kwame Nkrumah, in a military coup: “When I look back on my life it’s clear to me that this moment marked the awakening of my consciousness. It changed my life and influenced all the moments that followed.”
The opinions expressed on this website, except specifically stated, are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ghana Decides team. Ghana Decides will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained these articles or liable for prosecution based on those views.
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