(GIN) – A hard-fought battle with cancer ended this week with the death of Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills. Six visits to specialists in the U.S. were unable to stem the spread of the disease and the executive apparently realized the finality of his condition, sending a letter to Parliament this week that designated the Vice President to fill his post. He performed his last official function on June 3 when he toured the site of a devastating plane crash in Accra. The President was reported to be looking grim but observers said he was looking poorly because he was already not feeling well.
After serving as Vice President under Flight-Lieut. Jerry Rawlings, Atta Mills ran for president three times before defeating the ruling party candidate after three rounds in 2008. A scholar and a professor, he taught at Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Stanford Law School, and the University of Ghana, and authored several books on taxes.
His replacement, John Dlamini Mahama, is a graduate of the Institute of Social Sciences, Moscow, in social psychology. He has a keen interest in environmental affairs, particularly the problem of plastic pollution in Africa. His first book, My First Coup d'État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa, was published by Bloomsbury on July 3, 2012.
Services for the fallen president have not yet been announced.