Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 07:21 | SYDNEY
Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 07:21 | SYDNEY

Does Ghana represent Africa? Maybe


Sam Roggeveen


1 July 2010 10:53

On Monday I posed the question: why does Ghana's status as the lone African side left in the World Cup mean that all Africa is cheering for Ghana? Is there really such a thing as a pan-African identity?

The Atlantic carries an article offering a partial explanation for why Africans are getting behind Ghana:

Under leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and even Joseph Mobutu, nationalism thrived in the 1960s and 70s. But the African states that have since failed their citizens time and again today inspire a less than robust sense of civic pride. Ethnic, linguistic or religious identification may generally be stronger than the political borders that partition the West African coast, for example--or do not partition the vast, conflict-ridden eastern Congo. And for many of the African nations that did not qualify--Senegal, Kenya, Angola and Egypt, to name a few--the South African World Cup was always going to be a proxy war.

For some, the tournament is an equally important battle of imagery that Ghana's success will help to fight. "It's important to promote good news on this continent," says Teddy Ruge, an entrepreneur living in Kampala. "The team is one good news story that deserves as much ink as possible..."

Photo by Flickr user Impact Tarmac, used under a Creative Commons license.