Q & A: GFA Presidential hopeful Kurt Okraku provides answers to 14 key questions

Chief Executive Officer of Dream FC, Kurt E.S Okraku has provided answers to 14 key questions ahead of the upcoming Ghana FA Elections.

The experienced football administrator today launched his manifesto in the bid to win the GFA presidency themed: Igniting Passion; Creating Wealth for All.

The Manifesto sets out to: Grow the game and engage youth masses (professionallyand leisurely); to restore integrity and give past achievements glory once more and to cement a new direction for Ghana football by creating wealth for all.

1. Under your administration, how do you envision dealing with corruption and mismanagement that may crop up in the future?

My administration will incorporate new mechanisms to promote transparency. If there are incidents of such, the committee responsible for investigation and discipline will act accordingly and swiftly. We will learn as we go along but we will strive to make transparency work at the GFA.

The bedrock of my vision will be transparency, accountability and annual audit. There is no debating this point because too many studies have concluded that transparency and proper accountability play vital and direct roles in sound and efficiently administered institutions. They are also key components of any good business organization.

Under my watch, there shall be long term, medium term and an annual business plans which will culminate into an approved budget (shared to all members) and programmes to drive the business of the year. To achieve the business plan within the approved budget, we will adhere to sound corporate principles such as internal audit mechanisms, and compliance.

2. How will you convince sponsors to reinvest in Ghana football after the toxic reviews the GFA has had in the past?

In recent times Ghana football has struggled to acquire and maintain sponsors and commercial partners. The GFA clearly has an image problem. My administration will court sponsors and establish strategic and credible relationships that will support our plans. However, there is work to be done at the FA to protect the interests of sponsors, the state and the FA itself.

Sponsorship Management is one of the key pillars in football administration. There is the need to reposition Brand Ghana Football and win back the confidence of Ghanaians.

3. In your estimation, will Ghana football ever be revived and where do you believe Ghana football can go?

Today, the Ghana football industry is at a crossroad and more than ever, the industry faces some challenges: poor investment, low empathy, divisions, administrative pitfalls and negative PR.

My administration will have an opportunity to build a new association with a clear business plan, detailing excellence in management with a strong human resource base, accomplished marketing and sales team to churn out great football products and event experiences; Of course this will be supported by good communication and public relations with top-notch financial and internal audit / compliance assurances.

4. For years now, ethics and accountability has been virtually nonexistent in the GFA. The corruption drama uncovered by Tiger Eye PI has left a bitter taste / experience for all. What would you do to whip up enthusiasm for Ghana football?

The GFA currently has a public relations problem. An Okraku – led administration shall seek to carry out an audit of the FA and take stock of the status quo.

From there, I will institute the right measures to correct the pitfalls, re- engineer the perception of the FA, which will of course be measurable from the feedback on all implemented policies and activities. The GFA needs to take the bitter medicine to enable it get back on its feet.

5. There have been calls for pay equality among male and female footballers? What is your stance on this?

This is a topic that is taking center stage worldwide. There must be wages that should be commensurate with the output and commercial viability of teams.

The different levels of revenue generated by the two different teams means that their work should not be viewed as the same or even equivalent. The discourse should center on the differing commercial value of the two types of teams.

My administration will be open to discourse and recommendations for policies to be based on to address this issue.

6. What do you envisage your role as President will be for the improvement of works at GFA?

My Duty as GFA President is to ensure that everything happens in accordance with the rules within the establishment that were set out. This will ensure that the various arms of the FA can do their work effectively and efficiently.

7. Why do you want to win the presidency of the GFA?

I believe in my abilities and what I can do for the game. I come from an era where football is ingrained in my very being. I believe that if we stay the course and focus on correcting and perfecting as we go along the GFA will serve all stakeholders well.

8. If you are to win the Presidency, what type of governing style will you employ to renew the GFA to make it a beacon of excellence?

Leadership is never an easy state of being. It requires a clear mind, focus, passion, discipline, dedication and conviction. It also requires cooperation, diligence and respect from the people who a leader leads.

A leader needs the support of his people and the people need the vision and strength of the leader for an organisation to thrive well.

9. Do you feel this election will become personal given the negative publicity the GFA has had?

Competitions and elections always seem to connote antagonism. I don’t believe this election will cause opponents to become malicious; nonetheless one cannot rule out anything. I personally know my fellow Aspirants to be descent personalities. Therefore, I don’t foresee any problems on that front.

10. How can the GFA be held more accountable?

As stated in my manifesto, it starts with the kind of leadership in place. The fish rots from the head, thus, if we get the leadership right – of which we will do – that leadership coupled with the principles as enumerated in my manifesto should be able to address all these concerns.

11. What will the GFA stand for in an Okraku- led Leadership?

A transparent, accountable, efficient, well-branded and professional organization.

12. The GFA needs a radicle / revolutionary change to put Ghana football back on the map. Which areas of Ghana Football need immediate reform?

There are quite a number of them as identified and adequately addressed in the Game Changing manifesto.

This blueprint is placed on solid a foundation which includes, transparency, accountability, equity, fairness, infrastructural and logistical support, professionalism and ultimately, a good image.

13. What impediments do you envisage in your first 100 days in office?
The main task will be to galvanize everyone again after what I believe will be a hotly-contested election. To ensure everyone pulls his/ her support behind the leader, to bring absolute unity for us to forge ahead and I believe I’ll be very much up to this task.

14. What is your vision for tapping into FIFA’s Agenda?

Our core business, of course, is running Ghana football and making it one of the best run member associations of FIFA.

However, the impact of football and the FA is much more. The FA, mostly the FA President attends seminars and other workshops at our various institutions of higher learning but these things are never reported.

An Okraku led Administration at the GFA would keep a healthy relationship with all our partners, build a stronger global brand and maintain cordial relations between Ghana, member Associations and other International bodies. These bodies include FIFA, CAF, WAFU, IOC, GOC, CAS etc.

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