The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Mahama has expressed his government's support for the Pan-African Sports Support group for the 2010 World Cup, the Coalition of Supporters Unions of Africa (COSUA) at the 12th Summit of African Heads of State of the African Union at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This was at a presentation ceremony arranged by Ghana's Permanent Representative to the AU, His Excellency Mr. Kwesi Quartey and hosted by Brigadier General M.K.G Ahiaglo, the Defense Advisor of Ghana's Mission in Ethiopia, at which the Ghanaian founder and President of COSUA, Sarfo Abebrese, presented the organization's official invitations to the forthcoming official inauguration in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr. Abebrese, who is in Addis Ababa to finalize arrangements with A.U. officials for the inaugural ceremony of COSUA, which had received official mandate from the Social Affairs Department of the A.U. Commission, announced that four special 'Stars of Africa' awards had been instituted as part of the inauguration of COSUA's 2010 operations in South Africa.
He said, the event will be held as part of the 49th Anniversary Celebrations of the Sharpeville Massacre on March 21st, 2009, which is marked as an important political holiday in South Africa's history of anti-apartheid freedom struggle.
The proposed 'STAR OF AFRICA' awards, he said, was to be conferred on Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, for his contribution to the liberation struggle in Africa and for his role in bringing the World Cup to Africa for the first time in over 100 years of FIFA's existence, alongside President Muammar Al Gaddafi of Libya, who has just been elected the new A.U. Chairman, for his unwavering defense of Pan-Africanism and campaign for African Unity.
Mr. Abebrese further announced a post-humous award for the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for his pioneering role in Africa's liberation struggle, to be conferred on his daughter, Hon. Samia Nkrumah of the Parliament of Ghana, on Sharpeville day.
Finally, former President Jerry John Rawlings will be awarded for his defense and preservation of the Pan African legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, by the singular act of erecting the Monumental Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, for the fitting re-internment of the mortal remains of the 'FATHER OF PAN-AFRICANISM'.
Receiving the official invitations on behalf of the two Ghanaian award recipients as well as President John Atta Mills, who has also been invited as a Special Guest of Honour, Vice-President Mahama expressed satisfaction with the enormous effort Sarfo Abebrese and his COSUA colleagues had put into the project to unify the continent around the 2010 World Cup, and pledged his government's support to ensure its success.
"I am not surprised at the success of COSUA as a Ghanaian initiative, because Ghana has always played a pioneering role in matters of African interests on the continent, and this unique project is another 'first' for Ghana, which every Ghanaian ought to be proud of and must support".
His Excellency, President Mahama said as a Ghanaian, he hoped that the massive support COSUA was mobilizing from across the African continent would stand the Black Stars in good stead to win the World Cup at 2010, if they qualified and that Ghana has every confidence in Sarfo Abebrese and COSUA as a Ghanaian initiative to work hard to make the dream a reality. On the issue of the perceived sabotage of COSUA from some elements within the former political administration in Ghana, Vice President Mahama said the new administration would welcome Sarfo back to Ghana with open arms to continue his noble ventures.
"I never knew you had been in exile until I arrived here in Addis Ababa", he told Sarfo, and said he was concerned about the circumstances in Ghana that gave the impression that the Ghana government opposed 'such a laudable project', adding that he could assure the COSUA President that he would convey the presentations and the invitations to President Mills, former President Rawlings and the family of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and expressed confidence that COSUA's invitations would receive a positive response.
It would be recalled that on 7th September 2006, COSUA was officially inaugurated by the Supporters Union of Ghana under the leadership of lawyer Sarfo Abebrese at the British Council Hall in Accra with the aim of mobilizing citizens of all 53 African countries to provide unified support to the 6 nations that would qualify to represent Africa at the 2010 World Cup.
The group received the official Certification of Support from the A.U. Commission on 3rd April, 2008, in a presentation made to Sarfo Abebrese at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, in recognition of COSUA's "contribution to the operationalization of the Declarattion of the 8th African Union Assembly, adopted on 30th January 2007, on the International Year of African Football".