Opinions Sun, 22 Jun 2014

Ghana Soccer- Can it Unite and help Build the Nation?

By: Kwaku A. Danso

Human Organizations use different platforms to come together. The game of Ping-Pong helped bring America and China together under President Nixon. I wrote this Editorial for Globalghana.net Website and wish to share if others will think about and comment.


Soccer or Football is a game that most of the world has come to love and feel excited about. The greatest and richest nations lock horns and compete vigorously against players from poor nations, to chase after a leather ball and kick into a wooden goal. And the excitement is incredible! All humans need some kind of stress-relieve and relaxation.

However, while we play and cheer together, we should not forget the living conditions under which some of the nations live, some with more than 80% of their people living under $2 per day whiles more than three quarters of their people live with no running water and electricity. At the same time a nation like America, five percent of the world population, consumes about 25% of the world resources with more food and resource thrown away than could feed ten percent of the world’s hungry. We all need to examine how we can do better towards each other beyond chasing leather balls on football fields!

Ghana is a great nation with some of the most blessed natural resources, year-round good weather, sunlight and minimal natural disasters. After Independence in 1957 hundreds of thousands and now an estimated three million of Ghanaians were educated in all fields of study in Western nations, with the promise of a return to help build their nation. A survey will show Ghanaians have perhaps the highest love of their native Ghana of all immigrants to the West. However, most cannot return due to a closed door policy, over the decades, which deliberately exclude Ghanaians who return home or want to, unless they are major political party supporters and donors.

This editorial advises the current President John D. Mahama, the first leader of Ghana born after independence, to strongly take a serious look at attracting, by any inducement necessary, some of the Ghanaian talent and embracing them instead of putting entry barriers out of envy and jealousy that only hurts the nation. Western education by itself without much valuable experience cannot help us, and proven disastrous in many cases. We have seen Economists who raise prices of fuel and cooking oil and tell transport owners how much to charge, while predicting lower inflation rate. More than 40 years of pretense is enough! It is time Ghana accepted humility and invited their Ghanaian relatives living abroad to help them make decisions, train workers, and supervise and manage construction of roads, highways, water, sewage, transportation, communication, health care facilities and basic infrastructures which will create jobs and provide expanded opportunities for the youth.

Sports such as Soccer bring lots of excitement, energy and togetherness. The Ghana-USA match has brought Ghana more publicity and name recognition in American homes than a ten million dollar advertisement could do. In America, it is known that major business relationships and friendships are built at Sports events such as Golf courses than perhaps any other venues. It was nice to see the US and Ghanaian Vice Presidents sitting next to each other in their fine suits! (They may have been in air-conditioned special suites). It is hoped this 2014 FIFA World Cup spirit brings Ghanaians together and at par with the rest of the world’s standards of human decency. We need to put behind us the damaging decision-making processes and attitudes one often sees or hears about. A good example is the law that disallows people with dual citizenship who return home to play Football for us but cannot stand for public office, even if their talent is needed. Another to move past is the voting patterns that select people based on tribal or even political party affiliations only. We are more mature than this after 58 years of one nation called Ghana!

If we get rid of envy and jealousy and consider ourselves as one nation and one people, and hold our leaders accountable and to that high standard, Ghana can develop socially and economically as one nation under God in about 20 years. We can compete in a few years as “co-equals” (as that angry DCE said) in the global economic arena also! You have to believe it can be done. All you have to do to believe is watch how our youth played against Germany today. We need to think and work together for all our people and our children yet unborn, do the right thing by our brothers when in high government office, make the right decisions, account for the money, and attract all talent to return and work together with those at home to help lift up Ghana!

Good luck in the remaining matches. Go Ghana! Go!!

By: Kwaku A. Danso, PhD
Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.