Alhaji Aliu Mahama was born on March 3, 1946 at Yendi in the Northern Region of Ghana.
As a young man, he studied at the Government Secondary School, Tamale from 1960-67 for his Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates. He proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi from 1967-71 where he obtained a BSc in Building Technology. Alhaji Aliu Mahama started his working career at the Bolgatanga regional office of the State Construction Corporation as an Engineer/Construction from 1972-75. He was promoted to Assistant Regional Manager and posted to the Koforidua Regional Office of the Corporation from 1975-76. He held the position of Regional Manager in charge of the Northern Region, Tamale from June 1976 – August 1982.
In 1982 he successfully established his own Civil Engineering and General Construction Firm – LIDRA Limited and became its Managing Director. He became the Chairman of the Northern Regional Contractors Association in 1996 until the December 2000 Elections. Alhaji Aliu Mahama is also an Aluminus of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. In order to sharpen and deepen his management and leadership skills, he obtained two certificates from the Institute in project Planning and Management and in Leadership.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama has exceptional interest in Local Government and Community Development. Accordingly, he was Councillor; Yendi District Council in 1978 and Assemblyman; Tamale Municipal Assembly in 1990. He was the chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Tamale Louisville Sister State Committee.
He has been board member of several secondary schools in the Northern Region including the Tamale Polytechnic.
In his leisure time, he loves reading, football and badminton. He is a founding member of the Real Tamale United football club.