Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Ghana’s Former President Joins World Food Programme to Knock out Global Hunger

Picture credit: WFP & Alessandro Recalcati

What does a former Ghanaian president have in common with a world class footballer, an elite long distance athlete, a famous actress or a former US senator?

The answer to this question was unveiled to me when I received an email from the Online Marketing Coordinator of World Food Programme (WFP), Abby Ravera, requesting me to inform my readership about the contribution of Ghana's immediate past President, Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, to the global fight against hunger. Mr. Kufuor joins forces with Ricardo Kaka (former FIFA footballer of the year), Paul Tergat (Marathon champion), George McGovern (former US Senator) and Drew Barrymore (actress) to ask world leaders and other stakeholders to fill the "red cup" and put to rest the scourge of hunger among large swathes of the world's population.

At the induction ceremony in London, the former president indicated his desire of eradicating hunger among school children. He said that "ensuring that every child has proper nutrition has to be the goal of every world leader; I hope to inspire them all to strive for this goal." This welcome development comes as no surprise to many since the former president was in Rome, Italy in 2008 when the WFP launched its "fill the cup campaign" to provide school meals for hungry school children. Back home, his administration rolled out the school feeding programme to provide free meals for pupils in deprived areas of Ghana.

Mr. J.A. Kufuor and some Ghanaian school kids at the launch of WFP's "fill the up" campaign in Rome Italy. Picure taken from the WFP website

Mr. Kufuor received a lot of praise for his involvement. WFP Executive Director, Rosette Sheeran said that "John Kufuor not only talks the talk, but walks the walk; Ghana is a leader in nourishing its children and Ambassador Kufuor can be a leader in getting others to follow his good work."

Former President Kufuor and WFP's fight against global hunger is justified by the knowledge that over 1 billion people are either suffering from harsh, raw hunger or malnutrition of some sort. Key facts about the WFP school feeding programme that I found here suggest that the WFP is only able to feed about one-third of the 66 million hungry school children worldwide. This situation really requires urgent action.

Governments of affected countries should take the initiative of rolling out or strengthening national programmes to complement the efforts of the WFP and alleviate the plight of their people. More lasting solutions to the hunger problem must be explored, like technological innovations that would allow farmers to grow crops during drought, or assistance to beneficiaries in the form of skill acquisition, rather than always giving out fish. What is the WFP doing about this? Individuals can also help by contributing to the WFP, volunteering on WFP programmes or spreading the word like I'm doing. J. Another cool way that I found to be helpful is to simply play this game. Imagine having fun, learning and doing charity work at the same time! That feels good, doesn't it?

Ayeeko to the Gentle Giant and the WFP!


  1. it's good to see our leaders/presidents doing something that would better the world and popularize Ghana.

  2. I appreciate the way Ghanaian leaders are gaining confidence in the eyes of the 'powers that be'. I agree with Nana, this will go a long way to give Ghana some fame....and maybe money!

  3. on one hand i'm not sure what to make of this 'showpiece'. is it just a photo op?????? well...

    well it's good to see Kufuor promote a good course.

    but i'm not sure Kufuor walks his talk like the way the WFP Director would rather we feel hiim caress the balls of Kufuor with that statement.

    1. i think his policy of school feeding programme is a cheap excuse from hitting the fundamentals head on. what that thing has done is to turn our schools into 'chop bars'! what to do is to make sure folks have jobs and living wages so they can afford food.

    2. how many people did Kufuor deprive of food by chooosing to buy himself a gold bling bling as award for himself for being our president???????

    3. how many people did Kufuor make hungry by his almost every day long and gallons upon gallons of fuel consuming convoy just from his house to the Castle???

    4. how many people went hungry because Kufuor chose to spend a whooping amount of money on Ghana@50 celebrations?????

    5. how many people more did the WFP add to their statistics when Kufuor decided to build his presidential palace (i'm not against the principle, but it's fair question to ask given the Ghanaian circumstances).

    6. How many people would be added to the hunger count if Kufuor's Chinery Hesse's ex-Gratia recipe is made to cook into a mouth-watering meal.

    7. As we discuss this, an account has been set up by a so called NGO calling people to donate so they could buy BMWs for Kufuor. Kufuor hasn't condemned this call. is he waiting for the BMWs??? talk of needs and wants and ask yourself how many people would be rendered hungry by this call.

    if this is what amounts to waking the talk. then i don't want to walk this walk.

    but of course, like i keep telling people, if an armed robber comes to admonish me not to steal i would pay heed just as i'd do if Jesus came saying same thing.

    personalities don't mean 'nothing'. personalities don't make or unmake 'truth'. so i wish Kufuor well.

    having said all this, i appreciate the difference between leader of a position of 'communal' trust and a leader of a private making. Kaka and the rest too have their own social obligations (resources in the world are not infinite) but certainly a leader of a position of trust has more responsibility! obligations even!


  4. @Nana, Edward, sure, that's some positive PR for GH

    @Novisi, hmmm, those were really deep questions asked in an interesting language! Interesting filla about the BMWs. However, the point here is Kufuor's contribution to a worthy cause globally. Liked your analysis though, come by again.

  5. Kudos to the former president!

  6. @ Novisi:I agree with you Novisi, but your point with the NGO account for the BMW is a lil bit shaky. I don't think the hunger count is affected when a few business men decide to use the top 2% of their profits for the ex-president's car. After all they would not use the money to feed the hungry anyway...trust me they wont!


Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!