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John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills Biography

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John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills Life & Biography

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills (21 July 1944–24 July 2012) was a Ghanaian politician and legal expert who served as Ghana’s President from 2009–2012.

Mills was born on July 21, 1944, in Tarkwa, Ghana’s Western Region. His parents were Mercy Dawson Amoah and John Atta Mills Sr., who taught at Komenda Teacher Training College.

He was the second of seven children, and the first son. Mills belonged to the Fante ethnic group and was from Ekumfi Otuam in Ghana’s Central Region.

He went to Huni Valley Methodist basic School for basic education and Komenda Methodist Middle School for middle school. Mills received his secondary school at the prestigious Achimota School. He earned his Ordinary-Level Certificate in 1961 and Advanced-Level Certificate in 1963.

The Former President earned a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) and a professional law certificate from the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1967.

He became president on January 7, 2009, after defeating Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election. Prior to that, he served as Vice President under President Jerry Rawlings from 1997 to 2001, and he unsuccessfully ran for President of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2000 and 2004. Mills became the first Ghanaian president to die in office.

During his administration, Mills expanded government spending on public education. He established programs to provide free school uniforms to underserved regions and handed over 100,000 laptop computers to students. He also launched a campaign to distribute more than 23 million exercise booklets.

The school feeding program was expanded to cover 230 more schools, and the government paid full tuition fees for instructors who pursued further education via distance learning. A huge effort began to replace improvised “schools under trees” with permanent classroom structures. Approximately 1,700 of these makeshift schools were refurbished. Prof. Mills pushed to improve scientific instruction by restocking science resource centers throughout all districts.

Two new public universities were founded: the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong-Ahafo Region. He facilitated a collaboration between the Masters in Development Practice program at the University of Winnipeg, Canada, and the University for Development Studies in Ghana to investigate development strategies for Indigenous and traditional societies.

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