President of Ghana to Speak at UC Riverside

A free public talk by John Dramani Mahama is set for Friday, Oct. 2

John Dramani Mahama will speak at UC Riverside on Friday, Oct. 2

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, will visit UC Riverside to make a free, public address Friday, Oct. 2 at the University Theatre. Doors will open to the public at 5 p.m. to ensure adequate time for security bag checks at the entrance to the University Theatre. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m.

Already there is an overflow audience for the speech. A room nearby, 1500 Life Sciences, will be opened to add more capacity. The speech will be broadcast into that room as well.

President Mahama will speak on the topic “The African Diaspora: Possibilities and Privileges of Empowerment in this Technological Age.”

His visit to California marks the first time a sitting president of Ghana has visited the state since 1995. His address will take place just days after he addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“We are delighted to announce this special visit to UC Riverside by a world leader and head of state,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “In an era of rapid change and globalization, President Mahama’s visit shows that universities can be conveners of important public policy and international affairs discussions.”

Mahama assumed the Presidency of Ghana after the untimely death of former president John Evans Atta Mills in July 2012. Mahama was, in December of that year, elected president in a national election, with his first term beginning January, 2013 and running through January 2017.

In his first address to the Ghanaian Parliament, Mahama noted that: “Ghana is a different place now from what it was when we began the journey towards democratic governance.

“We have come a long way since 1993 when the first President of the 4th Republic, Jerry John Rawlings, delivered the first State of the Nation Address under the 4th Republican Constitution…each step of our democratic journey has been marked by improvements. As Ghanaians, we must be proud of this achievement.”

Mahama’s address at UC Riverside will discuss how the African diaspora, and Africans living in the United States, can engage and support growth and development on the African Continent.

The visit to UC Riverside is being coordinated by Kelechi Kalu, Vice Provost for International Affairs and by Kenneth Simons, director of African Student Programs.

President Mahama will be available to sign his book “My First Coup d’Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa” immediately following the lecture. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

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