He was popularly elected in an election conducted by Ghana’s Electoral Commission on December 07, 2012. This is his first term as President (January 07 2013 – January 06 2017), despite serving the remaining five (5) months of the late President J. E. A. Mills’ term.
John Mahama ascended to the Office of President after the untimely demise of the late President - His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills on the 24th of July 2012. President Mahama had previously served as the Vice President, and on the passing of President Mills took over the reins of Government and led the country to bid a befitting farewell to a leader who was much loved, respected and can be described as a Ghanaian icon.
The Ghanaian Constitution of 1992 provides in Article 60 (6) that, "Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President".
President Mahama therefore assumed the role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana from the time of the passing of the late President. He was sworn into office on the same day by the Chief Justice, and Ghana accomplished a peaceful transition that demonstrated the strength and robustness of the country's democratic institutions.
President Mahama was born in Damongo, in what is now the Damongo-Daboya Constituency of Ghana on the 29th of November 1958. 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.
The young John Dramani Mahama attended primary school at the Achimota School in Accra, and on completion moved to the Northern Region to attend the Ghana Secondary School in Tamale where he studied for his Ordinary and Advanced level GCE Certificates. Thereafter he 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 Studies in Communication also in the University of Ghana, in the School of Communication Studies, which he completed in 1986. He has always had a thirst for knowledge, and this made him take advantage of the opportunity to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Psychology from the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.
John Mahama is an avid reader, author and historian. Over the course of his career he has written for several newspapers and other publications, and recently published his first book, a memoir entitled "My First Coup D'etat and other true stories from the lost decades of Africa". He considers the combination of the study of history, communications and social psychology as having had a tremendous impact on shaping his views, his thoughts and his understanding and have contributed significantly to making him the person he is today.
After he completed his post graduate diploma studies in Moscow, John Mahama returned to Ghana and in 1991 become the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.
The President credits this period of his life for having inculcated in him the Japanese work ethic, after seeing first hand the efforts that they put into their work. The President had never been afraid of hard work himself, but the experience reinforced in his mind the importance of focus and commitment and reflects in his actions, effort and the dynamism that he brings to bear on the Office of the President.
After working at the Embassy of Japan for a few years, 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.
The President contested to serve as a Member of Parliament for the Bole-Bamboi Constituency in 1996, and won on the ticket of the NDC. He was re-elected to Parliament two more times in the year 2000, and 2004 prior to becoming the Vice-Presidential Candidate for the Party in 2008.
During his first term of Office as an MP he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Communications, and subsequently appointed substantive Minister. He was the first Chairman of the National Communications Authority and in that capacity played a key role in shaping Ghana's telecommunication's 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 he served as the Minority Spokesman for Communications in Parliament from 2001 to 2004, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2008, and as a Member of the Pan African Parliament. He was also 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 has been married for over twenty years to Mrs. Lordina Mahama who he describes as his anchor and support. They have eight (8) children. He is a Christian but comes from a multi-faith family with both Christian and Moslem brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. When he takes a break from the work of Government he loves to spend time in the company of his family, especially their two youngest children Jesse and Farida.
Apart from his love of reading and acquiring knowledge, President Mahama also has a keen interest in Technology and Agriculture being a Farmer himself. He is particularly interested in finding the most effective ways to improve agricultural productivity and works to encourage more young people to see farming as a viable business and not a subsistence activity.
This has translated into his passion to see the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (which is referred to by the acronym SADA) create new opportunities for people living in the Savanna areas of the country, which includes the three Northern Regions, and the Northern parts of the Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions. Even on official assignments outside of the country, the President likes to take advantage of opportunities to visit agricultural establishments and update himself on current trends and developments.
He also takes keen interest in the opportunities for simplifying and making tasks easier with the use of information and communications technology, and considers the ICT industry one of the sectors that can play a significant role in economic transformation and job creation. During his tenure as Minister for Communication the first company (ACS) that started business process outsourcing operations was established in Ghana.
The President is a keen football enthusiast and when he has the time loves to watch soccer in the company of his family and friends.
President John Dramani Mahama is a man of many talents and accomplishments, and has committed himself to fulfilling the vision of creating a Better Ghana by focusing on Jobs, Stability, Development, and has also committed himself to ‘WORKING FOR YOU’.