Renowned Ghanaian sports administrator Hebert Mensah has been elected as the new president of Rugby Africa, the continent’s rugby governing body.
This was during an elective General Assembly meeting in Cape Town South Africa during which the seasoned official polled 30 votes to beat his main contender George Owuo from Uganda who had just one vote.
A respected businessman with a wealth of experience, Hebert Mensah prior to the elections had pledged to transform the sport on the continent.
“Rugby is Big Business, and it needs to be run like a business. That is the only way there will be capital to promote the sport and make it grow. Capital generates capital.” Mensah had highlighted.
“We need to improve our governance track-record across the board, get better managers that will drive the business forward, and raise capital to give them the tools to do their jobs right.”
“The world of rugby sees Africa as one big poor country. This must end. The diversity of the continent’s nations is manifested equally in its sports cultures. We need to adjust our tactics to the specificities of each market and each region.”
“We need to brand ourselves and promote ourselves to the world, make ourselves worthy of notice and respect. Only then will we be able to demand from global organizations the respect and capital we deserve.”
Hebert Mensah has also stressed the need to transform perceptions and provide a new impetus to the sport across Africa.
“We need to change the way the world looks at African rugby, by changing the way we operate, and showing our value and potential for growth. The change must start with us!”
” We need to lobby, we need to organize, we need to engage the political leadership of each nation and region to engage the continental institutions that can help finance these developments. We need to engage the African Union, Ecowas, African-owned Banks, African Development Bank and the like.”
Hebert Mensah prior to Saturday’s polls was described as a square peg in a square hole and a man endowed with qualities to project Rugby to unprecedented heights.
The Ghanaian garnered a reputation as an efficient Rugby stakeholder after he successfully arranged the Land Rover rugby discovery tour of west Africa that included Ghana and Ivory Coast in 1996.
In 1999, he was appointed board chairman of Ghanaian football giants Asante Kotoko, steering the club through a succesful five-year plan before being involved in the management of rivals Ash Gold.
In 2014, Hebert Mensah was appointed as president of Ghana Rugby with the country hosting and winning the Africa Mens 7s championship in Kumasi Ghana in November 2021