Kennesaw State hosts President of the Republic of Ghana John Dramani Mahama

President of Ghana Day 1 dc160.jpg

Click here to read the full transcript of President Mahama's address

Click here to view a photo gallery from President Mahama's visit

Download photo of President John Dramani Mahama delivering public lecture at Kennesaw State University

View a video clip of President Mahama's visit to Kennesaw State University at http://vimeo.com/75974229

Two-day visit prompted by partnerships created from University’s yearlong study program of Ghana

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 30, 2013) — President of the Republic of Ghana His Excellency John Dramani Mahama visited Kennesaw State today to mark the culmination of the “Year of Ghana,” the University’s yearlong study of the country.

Mahama discussed Ghana’s evolution as a democracy and its growing economic influence during a public lecture at Kennesaw State’s Bailey Performance Center today at 11:00 a.m.

Planned highlights of Mahama’s visit include:

  • A tour and showcase of Kennesaw State’s academic programs and student initiatives
  • Meetings with local and state officials
  • A meeting with metro-Atlanta business leaders
  • A visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • A celebration with the Ghanaian Diaspora community, in conjunction with the Ghana Council of Georgia

“President Mahama’s visit to our campus is a great honor for Kennesaw State,” said President Daniel S. Papp. “This visit establishes another great milestone for the university: the first visit to our campus by a sitting head of state.  What a wonderful way to commemorate the bond we have established with the people of Ghana and our academic partners in that country over the past 15 years.”

Mahama accepted Kennesaw State’s invitation for the visit following an intensive year of programs and collaborations that included the presentation of more than 30 lectures, cultural performances, exhibits and films during the 2012-2013 academic year. The “Year of Ghana” also featured a conference on democratic governance in Ghana, the addition to the curriculum of credit courses related to Ghana, and education-abroad opportunities for students and faculty. Dan Paracka, education abroad director, and Sam Abaidoo, chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and professor of sociology, coordinated the year-long country study.

A delegation of senior Kennesaw State administrators and faculty, including Barry Morris, vice provost for strategic initiatives; Charles Amlaner, vice president for research; and Ike Ukeje, professor of elementary and early childhood education, also met with President Mahama during the delegation’s visit to Ghana in July, during which the president expressed his commitment to visit the University during his upcoming visit to the U.S.

Mahama was elected Ghana’s president in December 2012, after serving in the role for six months following the death in office of his predecessor, President John Atta Mills. The former vice president of Ghana from 2009 through the time he took office in 2012, Mahama also served as Ghana’s ambassador to Japan and as a member of Parliament for 30 years. He also worked on behalf of children through PLAN International.  

“Our commitment in planning the president’s visit is to be inclusive — to create opportunities for as many metro-Atlanta audiences as possible to witness this historic visit — and to facilitate networking and interactions that will be beneficial to President Mahama and the ministers who will accompany him,” said Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s chief international officer and executive directorof its Institute for Global Initiatives.

“Even as we prepare to launch ‘The Year of Japan’ as the 2013-2014 country of focus for our annual study program, we are quite privileged to welcome and honor the leader of the nation to which we have just devoted the past year of study. We hope inviting outstanding leaders to end our year-long country studies initiative will become an essential part of this annual program.”

Learn more about Kennesaw State’s “Year of Ghana” at http://www.kennesaw.edu/yearofghana/

Find more information about His Excellency John Dramani Mahama at http://www.johnmahama.org/node/1

# # #

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.