‘Heal the World’ – Ghanaian President, John Mahama
On the 7 December 2016, one of Africa’s most stable democracies faces a Presidential election. The current Ghanaian President, John Mahama, who is seeking re-election, recently addressed the United Nations General Assembly with a plea to world leaders to ‘heal the world’; words taken directly from the 1991 Michael Jackson hit song of the same name.
The song, which has clocked up almost 80 million hits on YouTube, can be listened to here:
The Ghanaian President told the august assembly:
“The words of his 1991 hit song ‘Heal the World’ continues to echo from his grave. It is my wish that history will record our time here in this hall as one that gave reality to Michael Jackson’s song:
“… Heal the world, make it a better place for you and me, and the entire human race.”
This year’s assembly had to deal with many challenges facing humanity today, including the Syrian War, the global refugee crisis, the impact of Climate Change and the lurch to protectionism by many nations of the West.
President Mahama said that xenophobia and hate speech was on the rise, and pointed to the adoption of tighter border controls by several countries as evidence of a hardening of attitudes. One of his most memorable comments was the contrast he drew between the Ronald Reagan era and the impending Brexit/Trump era:
“It’s a paradox of our world that nearly 30 years after Reagan called for the Berlin Wall to be torn down, new walls are springing up everywhere.”
Highlighting the dangers faced by many young African refugees hoping to make it to Europe, Mahama emphasised the boundless opportunities for development that exists in Africa, if only given a fair chance. He also highlighted the challenge facing Africa with some leaders holding onto power long after their sell-by date through constitutional amendments and, sometimes, by brute force. He suggested the adoption of a “properly functioning peer system”— through which other African leaders could call upon their counterparts to step down.
President Mahama’s full UN speech may be viewed here:
In an exclusive op-ed for NEWSWEEK magazine (30 November 2016), President Mahama, outlined the major achievements of the past four years of his presidency and the priorities he will focus on if re-elected. These include solidifying Ghana’s economic growth and addressing the country’s power shortages.
Mahama’s op-ed piece may be accessed here:
A short history of the Society of African Missions in Ghana may be accessed here: