Former UN Secretary General Dr Kofi Annan has called for greater focus on the provision of opportunities and resources for young Ghanaians and Africans through sports.
The 77 year old diplomat who is also a lifetime UN Humanitarian & Peace Ambassador, made the remarks when he toured the Eastern region based Right to Dream Academy in Senchi.
He opined that, talented African, who are leaders of tomorrow, be encouraged and developed through sports and therefore urged African leaders to provide opportunities to them.
He was accompanied by his wife NAN Maria Annan, and son, KOJO Annan who is also the founder of the soon to be launched Africa 10 Project.
The U-10 students had a rare question and answer segment with the renowned sports enthusiast who commended them for their knowledge on the sports and level of intelligence.
Dr Annan, commended the Academy and prayed other facilities would look up to the Right To Dream Academy as a template for education and sports excellence.
According to the renowned sports enthusiast, “[Football is] the only game in the world that is played in every country and by people of every race and religion, football is one of the few institutions that is as exceptional as the United Nations.”
He was of the view that the values in sports which is the ‘win, lose’ attributes should be imbibed in the future leaders so as to appreciate such value in real life situations.
“The talented young Africans are leaders of tomorrow, if you ignore them and you don’t develop them, and help them become future leaders, the country and the community is going to suffer. Sports has had the capacity of bringing everybody together, bringing young people together to play regardless of tribe, race, region, and to develop their skills and often to learn together and also to learn about accepting rules. If you know how to accept rules when you are playing, you take it to real life and it prepares you for life,” he said.
He was presented with a jersey by the U17 captain of the academy after a one-on-one live interview session with the youngster.
This was after he had gone on a tour of the impressive edifice which has churned out quite a number of talented footballers, not only for Ghana, but the African continent as a whole.
Mohammed Abu, Yaw Yeboah, David Accam to name but a few, play for the Black Stars whist Manchester City’s young prodigy, Kelechi Iheanacho, plays for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The African 10 Project is expected to take place later this years and the Ghanaian Diplomat is expected to grace the occasion with his family.