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John Evans Atta Mills

John Evans Atta Mills

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, a Ghanaian politician and esteemed legal scholar, held the presidency of Ghana from 2009 until his demise in 2012, having assumed office on January 7, 2009, after emerging victorious over the candidate from the ruling party, Nana Akufo-Addo, in the 2008 Ghanaian presidential election

1944

Born
21 July 1944

Born

Atta Mills was born on 21 July 1944 in Tarkwa, in the Western Region of Ghana

1950

Early life
10 July 1950

Early life

John Atta Mills, the second child and first son among seven siblings, was born in Ekumfi Otuam, Ghana, to parents who were educators, and he went on to pursue his education at various institutions including Achimota School, the University of Ghana, and the London School of Economics, eventually earning a PhD in Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

1980

Early career
10 July 1980

Early career

In addition to his extensive academic career, John Atta Mills served as the Acting Commissioner and later the substantive Commissioner of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service from 1988 to 1996, and he held various visiting positions at universities around the world, including Temple University and Leiden University, while also participating in research fellowships such as the one at the Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver in 2002.

1990

Politics
10 July 1990

Politics

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, initially served as the Vice-President of Ghana from 1992 to 1996, and later became the President of Ghana from 2009 until his death in 2012, after winning the 2008 presidential election against the opposition candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.

2008

Presidency
10 July 2008

Presidency

During his presidency, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills achieved significant milestones, including overseeing Ghana's entry into oil production, implementing prudent fiscal and monetary policies that led to reduced inflation and stabilized the Ghanaian currency, promoting economic growth in various sectors, improving access to education through initiatives such as free school uniforms and distribution of laptops to students, enhancing healthcare infrastructure and services, fostering good governance by reducing the number of ministerial appointees and promoting transparency, establishing the Ghana Heritage Fund and Media Development Fund, strengthening international relations with countries like China, and focusing on agriculture, energy access, and rural development, leading to increased cocoa production and expanded electricity coverage in rural areas.

2008

Other activities and projects
10 July 2008

Other activities and projects

During his presidency, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills achieved significant milestones, including overseeing Ghana's entry into oil production, implementing prudent fiscal and monetary policies that led to reduced inflation and stabilized the Ghanaian currency, promoting economic growth in various sectors, improving access to education through initiatives such as free school uniforms and distribution of laptops to students, enhancing healthcare infrastructure and services, fostering good governance by reducing the number of ministerial appointees and promoting transparency, establishing the Ghana Heritage Fund and Media Development Fund, strengthening international relations with countries like China, and focusing on agriculture, energy access, and rural development, leading to increased cocoa production and expanded electricity coverage in rural areas.

2009

Memorials and legacy
10 July 2009

Memorials and legacy

John Atta Mills received various posthumous awards and honors, including the Glo-CAF Platinum Award for his contribution to sports and football development, the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize Laureate on Democratic Governance and Development, the Fritz Redlich Alumni Award from the Institute of International Education, and the renaming of streets, schools, and institutions in his honor, such as the John Evans Atta Mills High Street, President John Atta Mills Street, John Evans Atta Mills Centre for Law and Governance, and the FPSO John Atta Mills. Additionally, memorial lectures, research libraries, and organizations like the Atta Mills Foundation were established to commemorate his legacy.

2011

International reactions
10 July 2011

International reactions

Following the death of John Atta Mills, he was praised and remembered by world leaders, including Ban Ki-moon, Francois Hollande, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Yoshihiko Noda, Pope Benedict XVI, Kamalesh Sharma, Yayi Boni, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Goodluck Jonathan, and Jacob Zuma, for his statesmanship, dedication to his country, commitment to democracy, advocacy for human rights, and contributions to regional and international relations.

2012

State funeral
10 July 2012

State funeral

The funeral ceremonies for John Atta Mills included a three-day period of mourning, with his body lying in state and dignitaries from various countries paying their respects, followed by a funeral service attended by African heads of state, international envoys, and thousands of people, and concluding with a military procession and burial in a presidential mausoleum, making it one of the largest gatherings in recent Ghanaian history

2012

John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Lectures
10 July 2012

John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Lectures

The annual lectures instituted in memory of John Atta Mills highlight his notable act of resisting pressures within his own party to retaliate against a businessman affiliated with the opposition party, instead supporting and facilitating the expansion of his business, earning him the title "Asomdwehene" (King of Peace).

2012

Personal life
10 July 2012

Personal life

John Atta Mills was married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, had a son named Sam Kofi Atta Mills, and was actively involved in sports administration, particularly in hockey, as well as being a board member of Hearts of Oak and a fan of Manchester United. He also had a close friendship with T.B. Joshua of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations in Nigeria, and identified as a Protestant in the Methodist tradition.

2012

Illness and death
24 July 2012

Illness and death

John Atta Mills passed away on July 24, 2012, at the age of 68, at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, Ghana, after battling throat cancer and experiencing complications from a brain aneurysm; his vice president, John Dramani Mahama, was sworn in as the new president on the same day, expressing deep sorrow and calling it the saddest day in the nation's history.

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