It was the idealism of the founding fathers of the Gold Coast, now Ghana, that brought to reality the idea that African nations would one day become independent and be able to govern themselves. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of political independence,” Said the Osagyefo. Although in between things got bloody messy – with Nkrumah’s failed presidency and the ensuing chaos that lasted until Rawlings brought some semblance of calm and then handed over to the largely successful Kufuor – Ghana has re-emerged to be one of the few countries in Africa with a functional pluralist liberal democracy.
With the elections over this past weekend, it seems likely that the incumbent party’s Akufo-Addo will win with more than 50% to obviate the need for a run-off. Regardless of the outcome, Ghana’s election was impressive, coming after the madness that marked the Nigerian, Kenyan and Zimbabwean elections. I am still not too happy with Ghana for its dismal performance on the modernizatin front. But I am happy that I am watching news which show that an African country held peaceful and fair elections and that there is no specter of violence and chaos as the country awaits the final results.
I hope that with the scheduled production of oil in the next few months Ghana will embark on a serious development plan to make it not just an exporter of cocoa but an industrialised nation in its own right.
And may this be a lesson to crazies who run elections in places like Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
ps: why are we being held hostage by Kivuitu and his gang? This is a group of men and women whose incompetence nearly plunged our country into civil war. If anything they deserve to be charged with gross negligence and slapped with heavy fines.
Cameroon and Egypt will have a rematch of their group stage encounter at the final of this year’s Africa cup of nations to be played on Sunday. The indomitable lions will be looking to redeem themselves after having lost 2-4 to Egypt in the group stage earlier in the tournament. In the semi finals Cameroon beat the favorite hosts Ghana one nil while Egypt convincingly beat the Ivory Coast by four goals to one. Ghana will play the elephants from Yamoussoukro for the third and fourth place.
In related news, the Ivorian captain Drogba has requested never to be considered for the African player of the year award after CAF refused to award him the title even though he won the ballot because he did not show up.This is strange considering the fact that CAF knew that Drogba was engaged in the tournament in Ghana. It beats logic that CAF decided to hold the awards in a different country while the continent’s premier tournament was taking place in Ghana. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the usual contesters for the title – the likes of Essien, Drogba, Jaidi, Eto’0 etc- would still be involved in the latter stages of the tournament because their national teams are very strong. Shame on CAF for this let down. Kanoute was not a bad choice, but to deny Drogba simply for not showing up, and knowing that he was involved in the tournament (which is organised by the same CAF) is simply silly.
The 2008 Africa Cup of Nations got off to a sizzling start with wins for all the tournament favorites that have played so far. Despite an embarrassing incident right before the Mali – Benin game, in which the floodlights went off, most of the organisation of the tournament has been done well.
Ghana deserves credit for having been able to provide stadia and other facilities necessary for the organisation of a tournament of this magnitude. The tournament also provides a brief period for the continent to forget about wars and droughts and famines and Aids and instead concentrate on the positive aspects of the continent that never make it to the front pages or headlines.
We thank the CAF and GFA for organising this wonderful tournament that gives Africans a chance to see their sons who play in Europe and elsewhere display their talents on African soil.