Monday, June 21, 2010

Will President John Kufuor Become Ghana’s Bill Clinton?

It has been almost a year and half since President John Kufuor respectfully handed over power to President Atta Mills in what was touted a peaceful and remarkable election in African politics. His post-presidential months were not the most pleasant – from accusations of ludicrous ex gratia demands to those of corruption, the former president was hammered, hard, from all corners. Will it be fair, though, to suggest that his activities may be shadowing that of one of the world’s most respected leaders, Bill Clinton?

On July 15, 2009, the former Ghanaian president announced this on his Facebook Page:

His Ever Excellency John Agyekum kufuor has been appointed an Ambassador Against Hunger for the World Food Programme. He will work for The Hunger Project and will be an Ambassador Against Hunger and Disaster.

This announcement received 96 thumbs up from his 11, 730 fans on Facebook.

Erasmus 'Pobosky' Oware commented: 

Congratulations K4. The world will always recognize your good works and will reward you accordingly. You are the best that ever happened to us. Congrats once again Daddy.

Arthur Chester said:
U hav done a lot for Ghanaian children when u were president and some of us still believe dat u will put dat experience into play once again. We say congrats for the elevating to dat level. Stay there and bring good name to yourself and mother Ghana.
On October 9, 2009, it was announced on his Facebook page that he had finally assumed office as Chairman of the Governing Council of Interpeace, a non-governmental organization dedicated to international peace building in societies that have experienced division and conflict. Today, his face is one of the few that grace the organization's homepage.

It appears that President Kufuor is the only past president thus far to still connect with the people of Ghana through social media platforms. And perhaps the first to take his socio-political agenda, in this case poverty and hunger, onto an international platform.

Could it be suggested that John Kufuor’s post-presidential activities closely mirror that of President Bill Clinton’s?  With his Clinton Global Initiative and other humanitarian deeds, the former U.S. president has earned much global respect. It was no surprise that he was one of the leaders called upon by President Barack Obama, in the wake of Haiti's disastrous earth quake, to head fundraising efforts toward the relief of the Caribbean nation.

President John Kufuor, though he was not appointed to lead any relief efforts did urge his fans on Facebook to pray for Haitians and “help for they are all our brothers and sisters.” Although his were just words, this modern age continues to reveal to us the power of spoken words by political figures to their followers.

This leader, often referred to by his admirers as JAK, seems determined about his other global interests. On June 20, 2010, reported: 

Former President John Kufuor says he is committed to advancing the interest of Ghana internationally despite vilification by the present government. 

Mr. Kufuor left Accra Friday night for two international engagements at New York, the United States and Sunningale, in the United Kingdom. 

At the invitation of the British Government through the Department of International Development (DFID), former President Kufuor will be Guest Speaker at a DFID major conference. The former President will speak on: "An African Statesman's view on the importance of understanding politics for delivering better outcomes.

On April 3, 2010, Sudan Watch posted a report entitled:  "Ghana's Kufuor leads a 51-member AU team to monitor Sudan’s elections," a title very suggestive of the role and image the ex-president is designing for himself and his legacy.

It would be interesting to see where he will be come five or ten years, whether the mirror will provide identical images, of him and President Clinton, or otherwise.

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