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Former President Rawlings dies at age 73

Former President Jerry John Rawlings, Ghana’s longest serving political leader, (19 years) has died on Thursday, at 73.

Former President Rawlings, who buried his centenarian mother a few weeks ago, died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, where he was on admission.

JJ Rawlings as affectionately called, was the first president of the Fourth Republic, ruling from January 1993 to January 2001, having served the maximum two terms.

Before then, he was the Head of State from December 1981 to December 1992, coming to power through a military coup.

Born 22 June 1947, in Accra, Gold Coast to a Ghanaian mother from Dzelukope, near Keta, in the Volta Region, and a Scottish father, the former air force officer and politician first nicknamed Junior Jesus for his initials “JJ” was involved in three coup; two were successful – the Armed Forces Revoluntary Council (AFRC which also featured Major Boakye-Djan, and later the 31st December, Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) regime.

Rawlings was married to Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and had four children: three girls and a boy. He was the joint recipient of the 1993 World Hunger Award.

On 8 October 2010 the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Jean Ping appointed Jerry John Rawlings, as the AU High Representative for Somalia.

Mr Rawlings was an ardent champion of the principles of probity, accountability and integrity both in government and thereafter.

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