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How Many Ghanaians will be on the Canadian National Football Team in the 2050 World Cup?

Ghana has one of the youngest populations in the world, and Canada has an aging population who are leaving the workforce. We can only hope that Canada never becomes a great football nation (I doubt it) and that the Ghana Black Stars will be so good that by 2050 the Ghanaians living elsewhere will queue to represent us.

Football is one of our nation’s favourite things; a sport that gets everyone in Ghana going, for good and bad reasons. With the current rate of emigration, read as brain drain, it will be easier to put into perspective what effects this trend will have on the future of the nation’s ‘Asamoah Gyans’.

Ghana has benefitted from some of its stars featuring in the best leagues in the world. You can mention Sammy Kuffour, Abedi Pele, Sulley Muntari, Kevin Prince Boateng and so on, who took advantage of Europe’s developed systems to make a name for themselves and their country.

So, what about Canada, which calls football soccer and has no football heritage?

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This question has become important because it puts things in perspective. By things, we are implying the rapid migration of young Ghanaians to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) regions of which Canada is a part and its apparent effects on nations like Ghana. According to reports, Ghana is only behind our West African brothers, Nigeria in emigration to the region.

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But why has the country become so popular with young adults recently? We must first look inward. The economic situation in Ghana keeps deteriorating. Basic amenities such as health and education have become a luxury and most of the hundreds of thousands of young people graduating from school have no jobs or opportunities to make a living. Our local football leagues? the least said the better.

What Canada offers is described as the immigration model that other nations need to follow. According to the BBC, in 2022, about 1 in 4 Canadians came to the country as immigrants. As of September of 2023, immigration had reached 79.8 per cent of the IRCC target of 465,000 immigrants for the year. The 2024 target is 485,000, the 2025 and 2026 targets? 500,000 each. Canada is focused on skilled immigrants to help fuel economic growth and replace the aging baby boomers leaving the economy.

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Ghana has one of the youngest populations in the world, and Canada has an aging population who are leaving the workforce. These young Ghanaians are highly skilled in areas such as technology. Canada is a developed country, and Ghana is still developing. Which country needs these skills more? Ghana certainly does but it won’t matter if you cannot care for your family because you have been unemployed since completing school in 2018.

According to Ghana’s High Commission to Canada, the country has some 100,000 Ghanaians and this number will only grow.

The effects on our crippling economy will be massive. For now, we must settle for remittance. The remittance gained from our “brightest and ambitious” feels like extortion.

To answer the question of how many Ghanaians will be in the Canadian team at the 2050 World Cup? We need to clarify that for the current Ghanaians who were born in Europe or the OECD, joining the team of their mother country is their safety net. If Tariq Lamptey was sure he was still going to make the English team after his long layoff, he wouldn’t have played for Ghana. If Inaki Williams got that elusive Spain call-up, he would not come near the black stars. Eddie Nketia of Arsenal is so sure of his talent that he is still waiting on England.

We can only hope that Canada never becomes a great football nation (I doubt it) and that the Ghana Black Stars will be so good that by 2050 the Ghanaians living elsewhere will queue to represent us. But truth be told, Richie Laryea, the Toronto FC right-back won’t be the only Ghanaian to represent Canada. Like the French World Cup winning team of 2018, Canada will soon have many great players of African descent (esp. Ghana and Nigeria) and unfortunately, they won’t be wearing the continent of their origin on their sleeves.

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