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Opinions of Saturday, 26 February 2022

Columnist: Anthony Obeng Afrane

Ghana needs Mahama's experience for a massive economic takeoff

Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

For some time now the question, “who is the most experienced politician in the history of Ghana?” keeps invading my thoughts. As I was pondering over this, I stumbled over some information that makes President John Dramani Mahama unarguably the titleholder. Check out this:

He was an MP for three terms, Deputy Communications Minister from 1997 to 1998. He became the substantive Minister for Communications from 1998 to 2001. H.E. John Dramani Mahama served as the chairman of the National Communication Authority and played a key role in stabilizing the Ghana telecom sector after the deregulation in 1997.

He also served as a member of the Pan African Parliament where he was chairman of the West Africa Caucus. He was the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for communications from 2001 to 2004, and NDC National Director of Communications in 2002.

In 2005, Mr. Mahama was the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and became Vice President of the Republic of Ghana on 7th January 2009. He became a caretaker president in 2012 when President Atta Mills died. The young man from Bole was sworn in as President on 7th January 2013, after winning a one-touch presidential election in 2012.

On the international front, he was elected chair of ECOWAS for two terms and was also elected chairman of the AU Trade Committee. There are more: he was co-chairperson of the group of sixteen SDGs advocates set up by the UN.

He was head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to Kenya, head of ECOWAS Election Observer team to Liberia, and member of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to Sierra Leone, just to mention a few. Importantly, he has lost an election as a sitting president; an experience that cannot be underestimated.

Former President Mahama’s next bid is going to be a doozy of brilliant collaboration of experience and learned lessons, and such wealth of experience is very much needed to make Ghana the pride of Africa, and I have no doubt that a second chance for him will be fructified.

I like an Akan proverb that says that if someone who has chewed a calabash tells you he will chew a crab, you shouldn't doubt him. President Mahama has chewed and swallowed a calabash by solving the most difficult challenge of our nation, infrastructure development; therefore, no one should doubt him if he says he will chew a crab; putting the economy in shape and creating jobs in his second term to give full meaning to the change we are craving for.

Ghana has profoundly missed him; and as my two-year-old granddaughter will say, “Mamama Onaapo.”