Thursday, July 8, 2010

Investing in Football for a Better Ghana

On 6th March 2010, Ghana's Independence day, the President of Ghana, H.E John Atta-Mills, reviewed his second Independence Day Anniversary Parade as President. The day being a special one, brought joy and satisfaction to the many school children at the parade who were neatly dressed in their well-ironed school uniforms complemented by speck-less white pair of socks.

For me the highlight of the event came when the President lit the perpetual flame with the assistance of Master Frank Adu-Poku, WAEC's over-all best student and winner of the prestigious Augustus Bandele Oyediran award. It was an inspiring moment for me because it counted as the few events that sought to celebrate brilliance and academic excellence in Ghana. For two years, Ghanaian student have been selected as West Africa's best, there is however very little done to motivate the students who put Ghana forward in such times. Master Adu-Poku was one of three Ghanaian students who won the WAEC Excellence award out of 1,520,319 candidates from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Gambia. The name doesn't ring a bell, or does it?




For a developing country like Ghana that has acknowledged the development of education and science and technology to be its panacea, I am a bit surprised to find out how little it is invested in education as compared to the millions of dollars pumped into football. Each player in the Ghana Black Stars team has been promised an amount of $20,000 and a national award for their performance in the South African World Cup 2010. This excludes the hundreds of thousands of dollars given them as winning bonuses. These actions have gone on to see Ghana progress in football. I am not totally against these rewards, I do think though, that similar motivational measures should be channeled into education.

Should similar incentives be introduced in academia?
It will depend on what we want as a country. Do we want to produce graduates who will deliver as much as their counterparts in other developed nations do? Do we want to see a Ghana that will have citizens that will understand policies and decisions instituted by the government? OR do we want to continue seeing 1,200 students clamped in one lecture hall being taught by old lecturers in our universities? or do we want the future leaders to share rooms with 13 other students in a room only meant for 5?

At the function, the President gave assurance to the youth that the Government was committed to investing in them to build a critical mass to sustain the nation's development agenda and move it to higher heights. This promise is yet to be fully fulfilled. I think it is about time Ghana invested more resources in education. Until we do so, the country will continue to wallow in poverty and ignorance.


6 comments:

Cy Lover said...

True story, man. And I know some ignorant people are gonna cry "..but soccer unites us..". Bullcrap!! Let the leaders continue pulling this shit and soon enough your country's gonna end up like the Roman Empire, only you're never gonna rise before you fall, hehe.

BRIGHT NKANSAH said...

I agree with u but some extent.... Investment into education is long term while that into the worldcup is pretty short. The amounts of money invested is simlarly different. Its almost pointless to invest into a child up to upper primary level and leave them there; notwithstanding our county's budget is limited. U might wantto consider that getting to this stage of the worldcup has won the ciuntry abt $20mil or so. Furthermore it isnt as though the country hasvplayed any major role in getting the players to where they are now. You might want to consider the other sectors aside education too, they also need financial investments that we dont have. Personally i think what we as a country need is to work hard, and i am talking about physical labour, that is the kind of resource we have and the kind that has brought countries like China and India to where they are noe instead of waiting for someone to bribg a bag of money to be invested.

Omanba Forum said...

Soccer can be a great boost to the economy if managed well. By exporting our star performers to other leagues for high transfer fees, providing employment for players and administrators, selling TV rights for Ghana's Premier League to other countries in Africa and beyond etc etc. The key thing is to develop our local game to higher heights and improve the quality and integrity of our football.

Football also gives the Ghanaian people hope. Let's admit it, right now we don't have so much to be hopeful about with the economic situation, chronic flooding, congestion and sanitation problems in our cities, poor healthcare and education etc. If football can make us forget all these for even a few days in a year then I think it's a good thing.

More discussions at Omanbaforum.com

Nana Yaw Sarpong said...

Good one there. At least i'm not the only one appalled at such wastage of our resources! But I'm surprised you talk of promises made. Nothing will happen my friend.

Did you know that one full tennis court was destroyed, and all the basketball courts also just to pave way for a car-park for football? Madness and these people say they are sports administrators. I bet all they know is football

@Bright, if the our budget is limited, how come we dish out money like that? Tax-payers money! That 17 million goes to GFA not Ghana and they will not put any of that in basketball or school buildings. Wake up brother.

Omanba, damn that shortlived hope as if it will change anything. We should do more as a country that is serious about development. Most other nations that have developed did not use one sport, how much more throwing money about.

Edward of PathGhana said...

@ Cy Lover - Good point man
@ Bright - If you do the maths very well, you will realize we are actually in the red, with a debt rather than profit as a nation.
@ Omamba Forum - I prefer a nation that is at peace because most of its citizens can afford clean water and can pay for the tuition of their sons and children rather than a nation that will seek happiness in football that will last just for a season.
@Obed - As much as I agree with you, I also think it is about time the other sports in Ghana woke up and made a case for themselves. Until early 2004 the football industry in Ghana was just as poor as all others. They however gave a reason to corporate bodies to invest in the industry, and these companies are currently reaping the returns. I think it can happen in tennis too and in basketball. We need just little money and lots of creative minds!!

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