The friendship between Sam Jonah and Former President John Mahama has become stronger, with Mahama’s younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama, playing an important role — – Asaase Radio’s Wilberforce Asare reports.
According to the report, Sir Sam Jonah (73), a Ghanaian business entrepreneur and current Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, has emerged as a front-runner for John Dramani Mahama’s running mate nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
Last month, the National Democratic Congress re-elected the former president and the majority of their parliamentary candidates for next year’s general elections.
The only big question is who will partner John Mahama. Regardless of whether the opposition party wins in 2024, whomever wins the post will be elected to lead the party in 2024.
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Elements within the NDC and Mr. Mahama’s campaign team who spoke to Asaase News are sure that, among the various names being considered by the NDC flagbearer, Sir Sam appears to be one of the favorites.
Possibility of selection
Asaase Radio News reports that, a source close to Sir Sam expressed little surprise at the report, noting that moves were made to the former CEO of now-defunct Ashanti Gold with Former President Mahama ahead of the 2012 presidential race, but Sir Sam respectfully declined.
However, the two’s closeness has evolved, with John Mahama’s younger brother and businessman, Ibrahim Mahama, playing an important part in the relationship.
Only two weeks ago, the two (John Mahama and Sam Jonah) were seen together in South Korea, when Mr Jonah introduced the NDC’s 2024 presidential candidate to his extensive network of contacts.
Former President won the 2012 election with Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur as his running mate, but lost the 2016 election to President Akufo-Addo on the same ticket.
Following Mr. Amissah-Arthur’s death in 2018, Former President chose Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the 2020 elections, however the pair was defeated by the New Patriotic Party ticket, President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
Profile of Mr. Jonah
Samuel Esson Jonah is a Ghanaian businessman, and currently the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jonah was previously President of AngloGold Ashanti and shared the strategic leadership of the company with its CEO, Bobby Godsell.
Jonah had his high-school education at Adisadel College in Cape Coast, Ghana, then earned an Associateship in Mining Engineering at the Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall, England, and subsequently an MSc in Mine Management at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London.
He joined Ashanti Goldfields Corporation in 1979, working in various capacities, including underground operations. At the age of 36, he became the Chief Executive officer, and supervised the transformation of Ashanti Goldfields into a mining multinational.
During his tenure, he increased gold production from 240,000 ounces per annum to over 1.6 million ounces in over ten years, and oversaw the company’s listing as the first operating African company on the New York Stock Exchange.
His diversified investment company, Jonah Capital, is the second-biggest shareholder in pan-African microlender Bayport, and a major shareholder in Houses for Africa, a company that has undertaken middle-class housing construction projects in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Nigeria, where it also provides finance.
In 2009, he became a non-executive director of Vodafone. Currently, the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Jonah chairs the boards of Equator Exploration Ltd, Scharrig Mining, Equinox Minerals, Uramin, Moto Goldmines Ltd and Range Resources Ltd.
He also serves or has served on various boards, including Transnet, Mittal Steel SA, Ashesi University, Standard Bank of South Africa, Lonmin, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund (Comafin), the Advisory Council of the UN Secretary General’s Global Compact, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s International Investment Advisory Council on Nigeria, President Thabo Mbeki’s International Investment Advisory Council of South Africa, and President John Kufuor’s Ghana Investors’ Advisory Council.
As well as his directorships, Jonah is a member of the Advisory Board of the London Business School. Jonah’s honors include an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc) degree awarded jointly by the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter (UK) in 1996.
Jonah House, Adisadel College, his alma mater, has been named after his father, Thomas Jonah. In June 2003, Jonah became the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the 21st century, when he was presented with an honorary knighthood by the Prince of Wales, in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure. Jonah has been listed among the richest people in Ghana.
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