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Personality profile of John Dramani Mahama, 2020 flag bearer of the NDC

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John Dramani Mahama is a former president of Ghana and the flagbearer of the largest opposition political party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the 2020 presidential elections with Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman as his running mate.

His political journey began when he contested elections to represent the Bole-Bamboi constituency in the 1996 elections and stayed in office as a legislator for eight years (1996-2000 and 2000-2004).

He was appointed Deputy Communications Minister in 1997  by the Jerry Rawlings administration. He went on to become the Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001 under the same Rawlings administration. He also served as the Chairman for the National Communications Authority during his time as minister.

From 2001 to 2005, Mahama was the Minority Parliamentary Spokesperson for Communication and continued to become the Minority parliamentary spokesperson for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2008.  

John Mahama was nominated as the running mate for the late former President John Evans Atta Mills in the 2008 general election, becoming Vice president on January 7, 2009. 

Following the death of Atta Mills on July 24, 2012, Mahama was sworn in as President of Ghana. In December of the same year, he was elected President until 2016 when he lost power to President Nana Akufo-Addo.

He was born to politician father Emmanuel Adama Mahama, who was a member of Parliament for Gonja West Constituency. His father was also, under the leadership of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region.

John Mahama received his primary school education from Achimota Basic school after which he moved to Ghana Secondary School in Tamale.

After gaining a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in History at the University of Ghana in 1981, Mahama began a career in teaching back at Ghana Secondary School.  

In 1986, John Mahama graduated with a postgraduate diploma in Communication Studies from the University of Ghana. He again pursued another postgraduate degree in Social Psychology in 1988 in Moscow at the Institute of Social Sciences.

Upon his return to Ghana, he worked at the Embassy of Japan as Information, Culture and Research Officer until 1995. Following this, he worked as the International Relations, Sponsorship, Communication, and Grants Manager at the Ghana Office of the Plan International

John Mahama is the author of ‘My First Coup d’Etat: Memories From the Lost Decades of Africa’, which was published in July 2012. He has also published some essays in the Huffington Post, New York Times, and others.

John Mahama is married to Lordina Mahama.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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