Profile of Ghana’s fourth President under the Fourth Pepublic, Mr John Dramani Mahama who incidentally is also the fourth “John,” to ascend the high office of the President.
He is to be sworn-in less than 24 hours from now at the Independence Square in Accra.
Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings ascribed as the first “John,” ruled as a democratically-elected President from January 7, 1993 to January 6, 2001; Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor endorsed as the second “John,” from January 7, 2001 to January 6, 2009; and the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the third “John,” from January 7, 2009 to July 24, 2012.
President John Mahama was born on November 29, 1958 at Damongo, in the Northern Region of Ghana.
He is a communications expert, historian, writer, former Member of Parliament and Minister of State, and immediate former Vice-President of Ghana.
He ascended to the high office of President following the death of the incumbent President John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday, July 24 in Accra.
President Mahama’s father, Mr 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.
After completing his education, President Mahama went on to pursue an additional postgraduate diploma in social psychology at the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow, and returned to Ghana from 1991 to 1996. He worked as Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.
He moved on to work with PLAN International, Ghana, as International Relations, Sponsorship Communications and Grants Manager.
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, President 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 then the ruling party, handed over power to the newly elected New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration when the NDC lost the December 2000 elections.
In 2000, President Mahama was re-elected for another four-year term as the MP 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 and 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 stabilizing Ghana’s telecommunications sector after it was deregulated in 1997.
President 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 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. He served in these capacities until 2008, when he was handpicked to become the running-mate to the then NDC presidential candidate, Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
President Mahama has seven children. He is married to Mrs. Lordina Mahama. Despite his often busy schedule, President 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.
President Mahama loves to read. He is also an avid writer and has had numerous articles published nationally and internationally.
His first book, “My First Coup d’État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa”, was published by Bloomsbury on July 3, 2012.
President Mahama stood on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Election 2012 and has been dully declared winner of presidential poll by the Electoral Commission.
He polled 5,574,761 representing 50.70 per cent as against his close contender, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who had 5,248,898 of the valid votes cast, representing 47.74 per cent.
He is due to be sworn-in tomorrow, Monday, January 7, 2013, as the fourth President of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. GNA