Profiles of some foreign dignitaries attending Mills’ funeral

Below are the profiles of some of the foreign dignitaries attending the funeral of late President John Atta Mills.
Benin

Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, a banker, was sworn in as the President of Republic of Benin on the 6th of April, 2006 and was re-elected to serve a second-term in March 2011.

In January 2012, President Boni was elected the chairperson of the African Union at the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union. He was born on 1st July 1952 and married to Chantal Boni.

Cote d’Ivoire

Alassane Dramane Ouattara, born 1, January 1942, became the President of Cote d’Ivoire April 2011, having won the presidential election in November 2010.

An economist by profession, Mr. Ouattara worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – where he rose to become the deputy head, from 1968. He also worked for the Central Bank of West African States.

From 1990 to 1993, the first Ivorian President, the late Felix Houphouet Boigny, appointed him the Prime Minister of the country.

President Ouattara is currently Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He is married to Dominique Nouvian, a French Ivorian businesswoman. Cote d’Ivoire is Ghana’s Western neighbour.

United States

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of State, was born on 26th October 1947, in Chicago, Illinois.

Former two-term Senator Hillary Clinton, was sworn in on 22nd January 2009, as President Barrack Obama’s Secretary of State.

A University of Yale-educated lawyer, Mrs. Clinton was 2008 candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, finishing second to Obama by a very narrow margin.

Sen. Clinton is acclaimed to be a strong, outspoken leader with sharp intelligence, political sensibilities, workhorse habits, and persistence in pursuing her agenda.

She’s widely known as a practical “policy wonk” who enjoys engagement in the fine details of proposals and plans, rather than as a big-picture visionary.

Sen. Clinton is a passionate advocate of healthcare reform and universal healthcare, education, and measures to aid middle-class Americans.

She is a believer in living a balanced life in the service of family, the world of work and society.

In March 2000, she visited Ghana as the First Lady with her husband, the 42nd United States President, William Jefferson Clinton.

She is currently embarking on an 11-day tour of Africa, which took her to Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Malawi.

Nigeria

Goodluck Jonathan is the third President of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic and the 14th Head of Government in about 40 years.

President Jonathan was born on November 20, 1957, in Ogbia, Southern Nigeria. President GoodLuck, a former teacher, inspector of education, lecturer, and Environmentalist, was sworn into office on 29th May 2011 for a full four year term, as the President of Nigeria following his victory in the April 2011 presidential election.

He had been the President of Nigeria from May 6, 2010 to May 28, 2011, after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010 and is a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He is married to Patience GoodLuck, a teacher, with whom he has two children.

Liberia

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia is the 24th President of Liberia and first female president of that country. She was born in the capital Monrovia in 1938.

She won the presidential election in 2005 and was sworn into office in January 2006.

In 2011, she was re-elected and in the same year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen.

They were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace building work.”

President Johnson studied Economics and Accounting at the College of West Africa in 1955.

She was married to James Sirleaf at the age of 17 and has been a champion for gender equality and women’s rights in her country.

Niger

President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger was born in the town of Dandaji in Tahoua Department, Niger, in 1952.

An engineer by trade, he served as National Director of Mines from 1980 to 1985 before becoming Secretary-General of the Mining Company of Niger.

He was declared winner of the March 2011 presidential polls held to end a year-long military junta and was sworn in on April 6, 2011.

He is married to two women, Aïssata Issoufou, and Dr. Malika Issoufou Mahamadou.

South Africa

Vice President Mr. Kgalema Motlanthe of the Republic of South Africa was born on July 19, 1949. He served as President of South Africa between September 2008 and 9 May 2009, completing the second elected term of Thabo Mbeki.

Following the end of his presidency, Motlanthe was appointed as the Deputy President of South Africa by his successor, President Jacob Zuma.

He is also concurrently serving as Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), a position he has held since 2007.

Mr. Motlanthe is seen as a highly skilled political operator within the politics of South Africa and holds the status of having been South Africa’s first Twana-speaking vice president.

The Gambia

Gambia’s head of State Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh, as a young army officer, took power in a July 1994 military coup and was elected as President in 1996. He was re-elected in 2001, 2006 and 2011.

President Jammeh received a secondary school education in the Gambia, joined the Gambian National Army in 1984, was commissioned a Lieutenant in 1989, and in 1992 became commander of the Gambian Military Police.

He received extensive military training in neighboring Senegal and at the United States Army of School of the Americas. He is a practicing Muslim.**

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