President of Ghana
In July 2012, he succeeded his boss who passed away on July 24, 2012 and elected in December 2012 as President of Ghana for his first four-year term. He thus made political history by becoming the first Ghanaian head of state to have been born after Ghana's declaration of independence on 6th March, 1957.
While serving as Minister for Communications, John Mahama was also the Chairman of the National Communications Authority, and played a key role in the stabilization and transformation of Ghana's telecom sector.
During his Presidency, Ghana witnessed important transformations, the most important of which was the building of a more vibrant democracy. In 2012, Ghana's score in the Democracy Index was 6.02, being ranked 78th in the world. In 2016, when he left office, Ghana's score was 6.75, placing it as 54th in the world - and making it the 5th most democratic country in Africa. During his entire life and throughout his political career, John Mahama has been a champion of the underprivileged, a unifier, moving above tribal politics; a strong supporter of public education for all; and a visionary, seeking totransform Ghana in fundamental ways.
Also under his Presidency, Ghana's ranking regarding the equality between men and women rose from 71st in the world in 2012 to 59th in the world in 2016.
Equally important, under President Mahama, Ghana's ranking when it comes to the freedom of the press rose from 41st in 2012 to 26th in 2016, turning Ghana into a world champion of the free press. Unemployment fell from 3.6% in 2012, to 2.3% in 2016. The coefficient of human inequality decreased from 31.9 in 2012, to 28.8 in 2016. Inequality in education fell from 40.9% in 2012, to 34.9% in 2016.
All in all, John Mahama's Presidency was a truly transformational one.
His book, ‘My First Coup d’État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa’, published in July 2012, has won international praise for describing a world of love, fear, faith, despair, loss, longing, and hope despite all else.
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."
He has also written essays, which have been published in the Ebony, Huffington Post, the New York Times and The Root.