One of Ghana’s suave and arguably most successful businessman and football administrator recently caused a stir in the country when he announced his intention to enter party politics.
The news hit some people as a surprise, but for those who know Mr. Zakkuor very well, they say, “Harry is capable of doing anything he wants to do.”
In an exclusive interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, Harry Zakkuor said, “I want to enter into politics because I want to fight for my people.”
Mr. Zakkuor believes that politics offers a much stronger and better platform for anyone who wants to change things and make life better for the underprivileged.
Harry Zakkuor is well known for the successes he achieved in business. The man who has been in business for the last 30 years and owns the famous Bus Stop restaurant, Next Stop Night Club, a bakery and a Poll Pub, all in Accra, has been a football administrator as well.
“What do you think you could do now for your people in politics that you couldn’t do as a businessman?” ghanabusinessnews.com asked him.
“I think what I have done so far is not enough. You see, business is different and politics is different,” he said.
“I want to go to Parliament so I can fight for the poor, including all Ghanaians who work for so many years but are unable to own a house,” Mr. Zakkuor stated.
Adding, “I have been in business, I have been into football administration and I want to move forward, that’s why I am going into politics.”
He insisted he is entering politics because he believes in helping the poor and indeed all Ghanaians.
Mr. Harry Zakkuor’s association with football administration in Ghana began with Accra Great Olympics, where he rose to become a Board member.
He moved on to join Accra Hearts of Oak, and rose to become the Chief Executive of the club. And during his five year tenure with Accra Hearts of Oak, the club excelled; winning the Confederation of African Clubs (CAF) Champions League Cup in 2000, and the Super Cup in 2001.
During the interview, Harry Zakkuor was passionate about the need to provide housing for most Ghanaians.
“I think it is not right for people to work all their lives and not have roofs over their heads,” he said, and he believes that if he gets into politics, he would be able to influence decisions in the direction of providing affordable housing for the majority of Ghanaians.
Sharing his views on the private sector, Mr. Zakkuor said, Ghana has come a long way in promoting growth in the sector, but he thinks that there is the need to encourage a lot more foreign direct investment into the country to boost the economy.
Sixty-one year old Harry Zakkuor told ghanabusinessnews.com that he is registered as a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ayawaso East Constituency of the Greater Accra region. And he intends to stand on the party’s ticket in 2012.
He is not oblivious though of the hurdles he has to clear to reach his goal of getting into politics, where he hopes he would be able to translate his successes in business and football administration.
To get the nomination of the party, he has to contest and win the primaries against the incumbent MP, Dr. Ahmed Mustapha, whom he calls his very good friend. Dr. Mustapha is currently serving a third term.
When he made his intention of going into politics known, some media questioned his nationality.
“I am a Ghanaian,” he insisted. “My father is a Lebanese and my mother is a Ghanaian. I was born and bred here in Ghana.”
“I don’t know anybody in Lebanon. Ghana is my country,” he said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi