President of Ghana dies

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died, according to a statement sent by his office to Reuters. The 68-year-old Mills, a former law professor, was elected in 2009 and presided over a period of steady economic growth — as well as newfound oil wealth and the complications that come along with it — for one ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died, according to a statement sent by his office to Reuters. The 68-year-old Mills, a former law professor, was elected in 2009 and presided over a period of steady economic growth -- as well as newfound oil wealth and the complications that come along with it -- for one of Africa's most stable and prosperous countries.

The exact cause of Mills' death is unclear, with Ghanaian media, for now, reporting only that he had suffered "a long battle with sickness." Mills' health had been the subject of speculation for some time, particularly after he traveled to New York for a "routine checkup" last month. The website Ghana MMA reported then:

President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday afternoon returned from a routine medical check-up in New York with a medical report that he has strong energy for Presidential duties.

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died, according to a statement sent by his office to Reuters. The 68-year-old Mills, a former law professor, was elected in 2009 and presided over a period of steady economic growth — as well as newfound oil wealth and the complications that come along with it — for one of Africa’s most stable and prosperous countries.

The exact cause of Mills’ death is unclear, with Ghanaian media, for now, reporting only that he had suffered "a long battle with sickness." Mills’ health had been the subject of speculation for some time, particularly after he traveled to New York for a "routine checkup" last month. The website Ghana MMA reported then:

President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday afternoon returned from a routine medical check-up in New York with a medical report that he has strong energy for Presidential duties.

“The report of the doctors show that I have strong energy enough for the past, the present and the future; and therefore I should drive from here to the Castle to do my work,” President Mills said just on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.[…]

President Mills, who had extended courtesies to the welcoming party, said it was his tradition to have regular medical check-ups in Ghana, but had to go outside on the advice of his doctors.

President Mills thanked all who offered prayers for him and asked for prayers for all who go on medical check-ups.

“Everything showed that God is in control,” President Mills said.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, who is also an author and regular contributor to The Root, will now take over as president. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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