President John Dramani Mahama, who is the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate for the December 7 election, was born on November 29, 1958 in Damongo, in what is now the Damongo-Daboya Constituency of Ghana.
His father was the late Emmanuel Adama Mahama, who was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja Constituency, and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region under President Kwame Nkrumah.
According to his curriculum vitae (CV) on the President’s campaign website, he attended primary school at Achimota School in Accra and Ghana Secondary School in Tamale where he studied for his Ordinary and Advanced level GCE certificates.
President Mahama attended the University of Ghana, Legon, where he read History, and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1981.
He furthered his education by doing Post-Graduate in Communication at the School of Communication Studies, also in the University of Ghana, in 1986.
The President studied for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Social Psychology at the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.
After he completed his post-graduate diploma studies in Moscow, President Mahama returned to Ghana and in 1991 became the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.
He moved on to become the International Relations, Sponsorship, Communication and Grants Manager at the Ghana Office of PLAN International, an international development charity that has committed itself to alleviating child poverty and improving the lives of children all over the world.
President Mahama won the parliamentary seat for the Bole-Bamboi Constituency in 1996 and was re-elected to Parliament two more times in 2000 and 2004 prior to becoming the running mate of the late President John Evans Atta Mills in 2008.
During his first term of office as Member of Parliament, he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Communications, and subsequently appointed substantive Minister.
The President was the first Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and in that capacity played a key role in shaping Ghana’s telecommunications sector after deregulation.
During the NDC Administration of 1996 -2000 he was also a member of the economic management team, and played a key role in the publicity committee for the re-introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
When the NDC Government left office in January 2001 the President served as the Minority Spokesman for Communications in Parliament from 2001 to 2004 and the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2008. He was also a Member of the Pan African Parliament.
He was the Director of Communications of the NDC and played a key role in giving voice to the party’s positions on matters of governance and social significance when the party was in opposition.
President Mahama ascended to the presidency on July 24, 2012 when President John Evans Atta Mills passed away suddenly on 24 July 2012.
The NDC gave him an overwhelming endorsement of 99.5 per cent of the votes cast at the Special Congress held on August 30, 2012, in Kumasi, paving the way for him to stand as the flag-bearer of the NDC in the election.
President Mahama is a Christian but comes from a multi-faith family with both Christian and Muslim brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles.
Earlier in the year, he launched his first book, “My First Coup d’Etat”.
The President is a keen football enthusiast. GNA