Tag Archives: ghana

Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings – Ghana


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbuGZVosum4&feature=related

Footage above of the moment that Rawlings handed over to Hilla Liman.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfYV0JpOlrY

Rawlings’ 1979 court martial (above). For those wondering. His colleagues sprung him from jail and returned him to power.

Rawlings 1981 coup:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2617988984972401971#

 

 

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Spain are World Champs, but Congrats to South Africa for a Successful World Cup


Now that the World Cup has ended, I expected lots of patronising and negative comments highlighting every single problem or thing that did not go according to plan. However, I want to say a great big CONGRATULATIONS to South Africa for hosting this marvellous World Cup. Here’s a good piece in the Guardian about the success of this tournament:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jul/11/world-cup-2010-south-africa-success

I have written a number of articles about the World Cup. Here is my post mortem of the tournament:

Football wise, it was not the greatest tournament.  The teams who reached the latter stages were those who played conservatively with restraint, and with one striker. The final was a dreadful game with some shocking tackles. Finals are always tense affairs but watching Holland –v- Spain was like watching a horror film at times. Spain’s semi-final against Germany was so boring that I fell asleep during it.

European commentators keep salivating over Spain’s slick passing. They are a great passing team, no doubt, but at times I think they over-elaborate and do not get the ball in the box quickly enough.  How good are Spain? They are the world champs and deserve all the credit.  However I get the feeling we still do not know how good this Spain team really is because they were rarely tested in this World Cup. Would have loved to see them face Brazil or Argentina.

Player of the tournament: toss up between Diego Forlan and Xavi. Does any footballer in modern football hit the ball as hard and as cleanly as Forlan?  Then again, did you see Xavi give the ball away during this World Cup?

Luckiest player of the tournament: Mark van Bommel. A one man foul machine who somehow  manages to avoid red cards despite shockingly persistent fouling and brutal tackles. How he managed to avoid getting booked till the semi-final is a mystery.

Goal of the tournament:
Giovanni van Brockhorst’s 30 yard howitzer against Uruguay.

Villain of the tournament: David Suarez. Blocking the ball with his hands on the goal line to deny a certain Ghana goal. Apparently did not realize that FIFA rules stipulate only ONE GK per team. Loved the way he acted surprised when he got a red card. He reacted almost as if unaware that deliberately handball with BOTH hands on the line is not allowed in football.

Game of the tournament: Ghana -v- Uruguay semi-final.  The final 60 seconds of that game gave me several mini heart attacks. Ghana had an effort cleared off the line (legally), then another certain goal bound header cleared off the line (illegally), then got a penalty, then hit the crossbar, then went into a penalty shoot out.

Man of the tournament: Asamoah Gyan. This guy has serious cojones. Just a few moments after missing a penalty in the last minute of extra time, he came back to take another penalty in the penalty shoot out and hit it into the top left hand corner. Takes a brave man to recover from a penalty miss so quickly.

Spare a thought for: New Zealand. The only undefeated team in the whole competition. They drew with Paraguay, Italy and Slovakia, did not lose (even the finalists Spain and Holland lost) yet still got eliminated.

Biggest underachievers: Argentina. A team with Messi, Tevez, Higuain, Mascherano, and Milito should have gone further. Where were Cambiasso, Gabriel Milito and Riquelme?

Biggest disappointment: the African teams (apart from Ghana). African football has regressed in the past 15 years. The quality of individual players has increased, but the quality of TEAMS has gone backwards. Spare a thought for Ivory Coast. Their golden generation of Drogba, the Toures, Keita, and Kone are likely to retire without an international trophy.

Minor gripe: Imagine my horror in Durban on my way back when I drove to the Durban international airport only to be told by the security officer at the gate that “there are no planes here”. I asked him “what kind of airport has no planes?” It was then he told me that the Durban airport had closed and moved 40km away to the King Shaka international airport just one month earlier.  I had to drive away quickly to get to King Shaka. Because the airport is new, my GPS did not recognize it and had no directions for it. So I had to navigate blind with no road directions. Just made it for my flight with no time to spare. A lesson in why you should ALWAYS leave early for the airport.  The South Africans really could have done a better job of publicizing this airport move that occurred just one month before the World Cup.

Big Thank You to: The wonderful people of South Africa for their warmth, hospitality and kindness….and for confounding the Western prophets of doom who said an African country could not host a successful World Cup. Nobody was killed, kidnapped by mad rabid black Africans or sacrificed in voodoo rituals. Shame on you Western press for never believing that Africans can do anything positive. Thank you South Africa for making us proud.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/12/world-cup-2010-goals-the_n_643668.html

2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa – Are African Teams Underachieving?


The great Brazilian Edson Arantes de Nascimento (“Pele”) once predicted that an African team would win the World Cup before the year 2000. Pele’s prediction is now 10 years overdue. The furthest African teams have managed to get in the World Cup is the quarter-finals (Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002). Pele’s prediction was horribly wrong and is now 10 years overdue. Heck, even Asian teams have managed to get further than African teams. South Korea reached the semi-final in 2002. Before you say “ah but they had home advantage”, if South Korea can get to the semis at home, why can’t an African team do the same?

“Home Advantage” for African Teams

It is not just South Africa that is at home. ALL African teams are essentially playing at “home”. When not supporting their own team, black South African fans tend to root for other African teams, and there is a multiplier effect caused by the fans of other African nations rooting for their “brother” African teams.

When attacking, the Nigeria team of 1994-1998 were as good as any team on Earth. A former German coach said in 1998 that Nigeria were the only team in the world that had better players than Brazil in some positions. A reporter added that Nigeria -v- Brazil with fair tackling would be a heck of a game. Sadly that Nigeria team defended as badly as they attacked. Then came the all conquering Cameroon team that dominated African football between 2000 and 2004. Despite being blessed with talent like Eto’o, Mboma, Song, Mbami and Olembe, they underachieved on the world stage.

Egypt has dominated African football for the past half decade and have won three successive African Nations Cup titles (2006, 2008 and 2010). They have swept all before them and have not lost a match at the African Nations Cup for over 6 (yes SIX!) years. Yet the all conquering Pharoahs did not even qualify for this World Cup. Their star man Mohammed Abou Treika (probably the best player in the world outside Europe) will watch the World Cup on TV and will face the anguish of never playing in a World Cup (did I hear someone say “George Best” and “Ryan Giggs”?!). He is in his 30s now and surely his chance has gone.

Ivory Coast – Orange Power

Africa’s best hope at this World Cup lies with the outrageously talented Ivory Coast team. They have quality and world class players all over the park: the talismanic Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Kader Keita (I have not seen anyone other than Cristiano Ronaldo hit a football harder than he does), Gervinho, Kone in attack, the Toure brothers (Yaya and Kolo), Didier Zokora, heck – even the flying full back Arthur Boka cannot get into their first eleven. Their only weak link is their dodgy goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. Yet Ivory Coast are in danger of becoming the 21st century answer to 1990s Nigeria: an outrageously gifted team that does not fulfil its potential by winning a cabinet full of trophies and cementing its legacy.

Yet not all of this is their fault. The draw has not been kind to Ivory Coast. They have (yet again) been drawn in the “Group of Death” with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. That is a horrendous group to qualify from. In the 2006 World Cup, they were similarly in the Group of Death – being pitched against Argentina, Holland and Serbia. Despite scoring six goals against top class opposition and performing admirably in all their games, they were eliminated in the first round. They would surely have qualified had they been placed in any other group.  Their opening game draw with Portugal in this World Cup is a good result, but it still leaves them having to take points off both North Korea AND Brazil. With star man Didier Drogba nursing a broken arm, that will not be easy…

This time round, Africa has six teams at the World Cup for the first time. Yet there is a danger that NONE of them will qualify for the second round. Nigeria and Cameroon lost their first game and face uphill tasks to qualify. South Africa actually over-achieved by drawing with Mexico and will be fortunate to get points from their upcoming games against Uruguay and France.

*UPDATE* I have just watched an utterly toothless performance by South Africa against Uruguay. They were outclassed by Uruguay and Diego Forlan was exceptional for Uruguay. South Africa did not manage to create a single clear cut chance in 90 minutes, and the 3-0 scoreline to Uruguay did not flatter them. Looks like the hosts are on their way out. If they are eliminated in the first round, it will be hard to maintain home fans’ interest in the World Cup unless another African team(s) get through to the second round.

Algeria look doomed. The failure of any African team to qualify for the second round, at the first World Cup held in Africa would be a major humiliation for African football. We cannot rely on old cliches about “naive” defending or a lack of tactical nous. The African teams are coached by world class coaches like Sven Goran Eriksson and Carlos Alberto Perreira.

Ghana – Let the Black Stars Rise

Ghana beat a very good Serbia team and have put themselves in an excellent position to qualify. Their victory over Serbia was all the more remarkable because they were without their lethal midfield quartet of Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari and Haminu Draman. That quartet is probably the best midfield in Africa. Ghana have a young, fit, hard working and functional team. If they can beat Australia, their match with the dreaded Germans will be academic and they will reach the second round.

Obama’s Speech in Ghana


President Barack Obama has made his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. Not to the self declared “Giant of Africa” Nigeria, or even to its biggest economy South Africa, but to Ghana. The Ghanaians are obviously very proud, and Nigerians are smarting – asking themselves why he did not visit Nigeria also/instead.

He made a speech to Ghana’s parliament where he told Africans some painful home truths. As an African himself he was able to speak with more candour than other Western leaders. In some passages he basically toldAfricans to stop feeling sorry for themselves, to stop blaming colonialism and the West for all their problems. As he frankly pointed out, the West is not responsible for the child soldiers that are sent into battle by African leaders.  Although he pledged to support Africa, he also called for Africans to take control of their own destiny and to hold their leaders accountable.

His comments regarding democracy, the rule of law and corruption are apt for Nigeria. He remarked that democracy is not just about holding elections:

“This is about more than holding elections – it’s also about what happens between them. Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.”

Below is the full text of Obama’s speech.

Good morning. It is an honor for me to be in Accra, and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I’ve received, as are Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Obama. Ghana’s history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States.

I am speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia, for a Summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy, for a meeting of the world’s leading economies. And I have come here, to Ghana, for a simple reason: the 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well.

This is the simple truth of a time when the boundaries between people are overwhelmed by our connections. Your prosperity can expand America’s. Your health and security can contribute to the world’s. And the strength of your democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere.

So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – as partners with America on behalf of the future that we want for all our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility, and that is what I want to speak with you about today.

We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans.

I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.

My grandfather was a cook for the British in Kenya, and though he was a respected elder in his village, his employers called him “boy” for much of his life. He was on the periphery of Kenya’s liberation struggles, but he was still imprisoned briefly during repressive times. In his life, colonialism wasn’t simply the creation of unnatural borders or unfair terms of trade – it was something experienced personally, day after day, year after year.

My father grew up herding goats in a tiny village, an impossible distance away from the American universities where he would come to get an education. He came of age at an extraordinary moment of promise for Africa. The struggles of his own father’s generation were giving birth to new nations, beginning right here in Ghana. Africans were educating and asserting themselves in new ways. History was on the move.

But despite the progress that has been made – and there has been considerable progress in parts of Africa – we also know that much of that promise has yet to be fulfilled. Countries like Kenya, which had a per capita economy larger than South Korea’s when I was born, have been badly outpaced. Disease and conflict have ravaged parts of the African continent. In many places, the hope of my father’s generation gave way to cynicism, even despair.

It is easy to point fingers, and to pin the blame for these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense bred conflict, and the West has often approached Africa as a patron, rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants. In my father’s life, it was partly tribalism and patronage in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career, and we know that this kind of corruption is a daily fact of life for far too many.

Of course, we also know that is not the whole story. Here in Ghana, you show us a face of Africa that is too often overlooked by a world that sees only tragedy or the need for charity. The people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections. And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana’s economy has shown impressive rates of growth.

This progress may lack the drama of the 20th century’s liberation struggles, but make no mistake: it will ultimately be more significant. For just as it is important to emerge from the control of another nation, it is even more important to build one’s own.

So I believe that this moment is just as promising for Ghana – and for Africa – as the moment when my father came of age and new nations were being born. This is a new moment of promise. Only this time, we have learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa’s future. Instead, it will be you – the men and women in Ghana’s Parliament, and the people you represent. Above all, it will be the young people – brimming with talent and energy and hope – who can claim the future that so many in my father’s generation never found.

To realize that promise, we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.

As for America and the West, our commitment must be measured by more than just the dollars we spend. I have pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa’s interest and America’s. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by – it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.

This mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership. And today, I will focus on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world: democracy; opportunity; health; and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments.

As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.

This is about more than holding elections – it’s also about what happens between them. Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.

In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success – strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples’ lives.

Time and again, Ghanaians have chosen Constitutional rule over autocracy, and shown a democratic spirit that allows the energy of your people to break through. We see that in leaders who accept defeat graciously, and victors who resist calls to wield power against the opposition. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth. We see it in police like Patience Quaye, who helped prosecute the first human trafficker in Ghana. We see it in the young people who are speaking up against patronage, and participating in the political process.

Across Africa, we have seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop post-election violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three quarters of the country voted in the recent election – the fourth since the end of Apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person’s vote is their sacred right.

Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.

America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation – the essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. What we will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance – on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard; on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting, automating services, strengthening hotlines, and protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.

As we provide this support, I have directed my Administration to give greater attention to corruption in our Human Rights report. People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe. We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do.

This leads directly to our second area of partnership – supporting development that provides opportunity for more people.

With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base for prosperity. The continent is rich in natural resources. And from cell phone entrepreneurs to small farmers, Africans have shown the capacity and commitment to create their own opportunities. But old habits must also be broken. Dependence on commodities – or on a single export – concentrates wealth in the hands of the few, and leaves people too vulnerable to downturns.

In Ghana, for instance, oil brings great opportunities, and you have been responsible in preparing for new revenue. But as so many Ghanaians know, oil cannot simply become the new cocoa. From South Korea to Singapore, history shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and infrastructure; when they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled workforce, and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs.

As Africans reach for this promise, America will be more responsible in extending our hand. By cutting costs that go to Western consultants and administration, we will put more resources in the hands of those who need it, while training people to do more for themselves. That is why our $3.5 billion food security initiative is focused on new methods and technologies for farmers – not simply sending American producers or goods to Africa. Aid is not an end in itself. The purpose of foreign assistance must be creating the conditions where it is no longer needed.

America can also do more to promote trade and investment. Wealthy nations must open our doors to goods and services from Africa in a meaningful way. And where there is good governance, we can broaden prosperity through public-private partnerships that invest in better roads and electricity; capacity-building that trains people to grow a business; and financial services that reach poor and rural areas. This is also in our own interest – for if people are lifted out of poverty and wealth is created in Africa, new markets will open for our own goods.

One area that holds out both undeniable peril and extraordinary promise is energy. Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources, and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and conflict. All of us – particularly the developed world – have a responsibility to slow these trends – through mitigation, and by changing the way that we use energy. But we can also work with Africans to turn this crisis into opportunity.

Together, we can partner on behalf of our planet and prosperity, and help countries increase access to power while skipping the dirtier phase of development. Across Africa, there is bountiful wind and solar power; geothermal energy and bio-fuels. From the Rift Valley to the North African deserts; from the Western coast to South Africa’s crops -Africa’s boundless natural gifts can generate its own power, while exporting profitable, clean energy abroad.

These steps are about more than growth numbers on a balance sheet. They’re about whether a young person with an education can get a job that supports a family; a farmer can transfer their goods to the market; or an entrepreneur with a good idea can start a business. It’s about the dignity of work. It’s about the opportunity that must exist for Africans in the 21st century.

Just as governance is vital to opportunity, it is also critical to the third area that I will talk about – strengthening public health.

In recent years, enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn’t kill them. When children are being killed because of a mosquito bite, and mothers are dying in childbirth, then we know that more progress must be made.

Yet because of incentives – often provided by donor nations – many African doctors and nurses understandably go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. This creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention. Meanwhile, individual Africans also have to make responsible choices that prevent the spread of disease, while promoting public health in their communities and countries.

Across Africa, we see examples of people tackling these problems. In Nigeria, an Interfaith effort of Christians and Muslims has set an example of cooperation to confront malaria. Here in Ghana and across Africa, we see innovative ideas for filling gaps in care – for instance, through E-Health initiatives that allow doctors in big cities to support those in small towns.

America will support these efforts through a comprehensive, global health strategy. Because in the 21st century, we are called to act by our conscience and our common interest. When a child dies of a preventable illness in Accra, that diminishes us everywhere. And when disease goes unchecked in any corner of the world, we know that it can spread across oceans and continents.

That is why my Administration has committed $63 billion to meet these challenges. Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and eradicating polio. We will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won’t confront illnesses in isolation – we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness, and focus on the health of mothers and children.

As we partner on behalf of a healthier future, we must also stop the destruction that comes not from illness, but from human beings – and so the final area that I will address is conflict.

Now let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at war. But for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.

These conflicts are a millstone around Africa’s neck. We all have many identities – of tribe and ethnicity; of religion and nationality. But defining oneself in opposition to someone who belongs to a different tribe, or who worships a different prophet, has no place in the 21st century. Africa’s diversity should be a source of strength, not a cause for division. We are all God’s children. We all share common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to access education and opportunity; to love our families, our communities, and our faith. That is our common humanity.

That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. It is never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology. It is the death sentence of a society to force children to kill in wars. It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systematic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in Congo. No faith or culture should condone the outrages against them. All of us must strive for the peace and security necessary for progress.

Africans are standing up for this future. Here, too, Ghana is helping to point the way forward. Ghanaians should take pride in your contributions to peacekeeping from Congo to Liberia to Lebanon, and in your efforts to resist the scourge of the drug trade. We welcome the steps that are being taken by organizations like the African Union and ECOWAS to better resolve conflicts, keep the peace, and support those in need. And we encourage the vision of a strong, regional security architecture that can bring effective, transnational force to bear when needed.

America has a responsibility to advance this vision, not just with words, but with support that strengthens African capacity. When there is genocide in Darfur or terrorists in Somalia, these are not simply African problems – they are global security challenges, and they demand a global response. That is why we stand ready to partner through diplomacy, technical assistance, and logistical support, and will stand behind efforts to hold war criminals accountable. And let me be clear: our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold in the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa and the world.

In Moscow, I spoke of the need for an international system where the universal rights of human beings are respected, and violations of those rights are opposed. That must include a commitment to support those who resolve conflicts peacefully, to sanction and stop those who don’t, and to help those who have suffered. But ultimately, it will be vibrant democracies like Botswana and Ghana which roll back the causes of conflict, and advance the frontiers of peace and prosperity.

As I said earlier, Africa’s future is up to Africans.

The people of Africa are ready to claim that future. In my country, African-Americans – including so many recent immigrants – have thrived in every sector of society. We have done so despite a difficult past, and we have drawn strength from our African heritage. With strong institutions and a strong will, I know that Africans can live their dreams in Nairobi and Lagos; in Kigali and Kinshasa; in Harare and right here in Accra.

Fifty-two years ago, the eyes of the world were on Ghana. And a young preacher named Martin Luther King traveled here, to Accra, to watch the Union Jack come down and the Ghanaian flag go up. This was before the march on Washington or the success of the civil rights movement in my country. Dr. King was asked how he felt while watching the birth of a nation. And he said: “It renews my conviction in the ultimate triumph of justice.”

Now, that triumph must be won once more, and it must be won by you. And I am particularly speaking to the young people. In places like Ghana, you make up over half of the population. Here is what you must know: the world will be what you make of it.

You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can. Because in this moment, history is on the move.

But these things can only be done if you take responsibility for your future. It won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you. As a partner. As a friend. Opportunity won’t come from any other place, though – it must come from the decisions that you make, the things that you do, and the hope that you hold in your hearts.

Freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom’s foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say that this was the time when the promise was realized – this was the moment when prosperity was forged; pain was overcome; and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Thank you.

Another Excellent Series of Biafra Videos – “No Victor No Vanquished”


This is another series of documentaries on Biafra. Produced by Nigeria’s own NTA, these videos feature interviews with the key players such as Gowon, Ojukwu, Babangida, Maj-Gens Mohammed Shuwa, Adeyinka Adebayo, Godwin Abbe, George Innih, and David Ejoor, Brigadiers Samuel Ogbemudia and Mobolaji Johnson, plus civilian participants like Philip Asiodu and Ahmed Joda who were key players in the abortive negotiations prior to the war.

Of great vintage is the footage of the Aburi debate in Ghana in 1967. Amazing footage of Ojukwu chatting with Gowon, Hassan Katsina, Commodore Joseph Wey and other members of the federal delegation to Aburi.

Part 1: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2191/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-1

Part 2:http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2190/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-2

Part 3: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2189/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-3

Part 4: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2259/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-4

Part 5: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2258/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-5

Part 6:http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2257/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-6

Part 7: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2256/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-7

Part 8: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2285/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-8

Part 9: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2286/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-9

Part 10: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2287/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-10

Part 11: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2506/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-11

Part 12: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2502/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-12

Part 13: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2501/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-13

Part 14:  http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2500/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-14

Part 15: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2499/No-Victor–No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-15

Part 16: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2498/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-16

Part 17: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2497/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-17

Part 18: http://www.viewnaija.com/video/2496/No-Victor-No-Vanquished–Biafra-War-Pt-18