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Herbert Mensah

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Herbert Mensah

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Herbert Amponsah Mensah is a Ghanaian businessman and sports administrator and the president of the Ghana Rugby Association (GRA) operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU).


Herbert Mensah Herbert Mensah joins historical event for Ghana Rugby

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Education and entry into business

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Mensah is an alumnus of Achimota Secondary School in Accra, Ghana, although he completed his O levels in the UK and later obtained his graduate degree in economics at Sussex University. In his younger years, he played rugby for Sussex and Saracens. He entered the business world while still a student and gained business experience, among other places, in the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe. His entrepreneurship led to his pursuit of success in the telecommunications industry. In the early nineties, he identified cellphones as a boom industry and went on to become the biggest mobile handset distributor in sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa, where he led the market in distributing Motorola, Sony, Ericsson, and Nokia. By 2007, he had established a level-3 Motorola and Nokia-certified mobile phone and repair centre in Accra.

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In 1994, he identified the opportunity of South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net and helped to spread this service to the rest of Africa. In 1995, he represented the BBC in Ghana and became the liaison with media and government regarding all aspects of radio, programming, marketing, and PR. He later became the country manager for satellite-TV service MultiChoice to Ghana.

Football chairmanship

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He was appointed board chairman of the popular Ghanaian football club Kumasi Asante Kotoko SC by the then Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, in 1999. Mensah set out to restore the success of earlier glories of the then failing club by implementing a five-year plan, which included sponsorships, the introduction of professional training facilities, and a transparent financial approach to the books. He left Kotoko in 2003 and later became involved in running a rival club in the Ashanti area, AshGold. In December 2004, Kotoko was runner-up in the African Cup Winners’ Cup and went on to achieve more success in the years that followed.

A well known sports journalist in Ghana, Kwabena Yeboah, described Herbert Mensah as "the greatest leader he has ever met at the Porcupine Warriors" due to his endeavours on and off the field.

Herbert Mensah Profile Herbert Mensah

Mensah has been credited with making a major contribution to changing the face of Ghanaian profession football. By 2004, he had established the SOS (Strategic Outsourcing Solutions) network. It provided management services to football and continues to be a link between grass-roots sport and the professional world.

Herbert Mensah Herbert Mensah urges Dr Kwame Kyei to succeed at Kotoko

In 2007, he teamed up with Prosport International to nurture players with exceptional talents.

Presidency of Ghana Rugby

Herbert Mensah Kumasi Herbert Mensah

Prior to his appointment as President of Ghana Rugby, Mensah was appointed to the executive of the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA) in May 2014. At the occasion, he stressed the importance to build infrastructure to motivate the youth and to grow the game of rugby in Ghana. On assuming office, his first priority was to order an assessment of the state of rugby in Ghana by his Board Members. He travelled to Dublin to meet with officials of World Rugby to seek guidance on the development of Rugby in Ghana. The meeting was followed up with a meeting, also in Dublin, with the Rugby Africa Development Manager.

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He also met with various stakeholders including regional associations, clubs, players and the business community.

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On Friday, 29 August 2014, Mensah convened a Ghana Rugby Stakeholder Forum in Accra, where the Ghana Rugby Blueprint was presented.

He also arranged training sessions for both coaches and referees to improve the quality of the sport in Ghana. The coaches' training conducted by Mr David Dobela of South Africa was described as a historical event for Ghana Rugby as it was the first time in 11 years that coaches were trained on both Level 1 and Level 2 for rugby union and Sevens coaching.

Based on his consultations with both World Rugby and Rugby Africa, Mensah realised that a stumbling block in the way of Ghana Rugby to become a full member of World Rugby was the successful completion of a successfully run local league by at least ten clubs. He immediately mobilised his resources, and planned and completed the first professionally run Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC).

One of Mensah's major challenges as president of Ghana Rugby remains funding the sport and he has initiated various activities including a raffle ticket drive. He also managed to get corporates such as Accra Brewery, Interplast Ghana, Vodafone Ghana and Zen Petroleum involved in supporting Ghana Rugby. In collaboration with the Vodafone Ghana management team he staged a management motivational event using the values and principles of rugby to help Vodafone prepare its management for year ahead.

He has challenged the Government of Ghana on more than one occasion about support promised to minority sports such as rugby that has never been delivered. He remains a vocal critic of other government failures well beyond the realm of sport.

After the 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Club Championship, Mensah, in the absence of a National Technical Director, appointed a four-man technical squad under his guidance to prepare the Ghana national men's sevens team for its Africa Rugby international commitment. The technical team consisting of Messrs. Simba Mangena (Head Coach of Conquerors SC), Clement Dennis (Player / Coach of Griffons RFC), Amuzuloh Salim (Head Coach of Cosmos Buffaloes RFC) and Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC) put the squad of 25 players through a rigorous training programme that ended in April 2016. This was followed by Phase II of the preparation that started early May when a reduced squad of 16 players started camping in Accra.

The final squad of 12 players who competed in the Africa Rugby "Africa Cup West" men's sevens tournament in Lome, Togo on 28 May 2016 consisted of: Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC), Clement Dennis (Griffons RFC), Sani Alhassan (Captain)(Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Alex Dorpenyo (Conquerors SC), Seidu Razak (Conquerors SC), Solomon Akumba (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Michael Acquaye (Conquerors SC), Calestus Bosoka (Conquerors SC), Emmanuel Kalos (Conquerors SC), Joseph Mensah (Griffons RFC), Erick Acquah (Griffons RFC) and Nasiru Aminu (Conquerors SC).

The Ghana Eagles, as the Ghana national Rugby team is known, managed to lift the Bronze or Third Place cup after it was ranked as number one based on the Pool results.

Board Member of The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC)

Herbert Mensah was elected as one of the five representatives for Olympic Sports on the Board of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) on 15 March 2017.

Soon after his appointment to the GOC Board, Mensah said that he and his Rugby administration have their eyes set on world cups for Ghana Rugby at a gala dinner organised by the Australian High Commission in partnership with the Azumah Nelson foundation, the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation to receive the Queen’s Commonwealth Baton Relay to Ghana.

Chair of GOC Media Relations Sub-Committee

Mensah was also appointed as Chair of the GOC’s Media Relations Sub-Committee that will spearhead the agenda of effective communication from the GOC.

May 9th Remembered

At the time of the Accra Sports Stadium Disaster on 9 May 2001, Mensah was still the chairman of Asante Kotoko SC. He actively took part in rescue operations and in carrying the bodies of the dead from the stands to the field.

Since 2001, he has "religiously" commemorated the tragedy in support of the families of the victims with events in both Accra and Kumasi.

2016 May 9th Commemoration

The May 9th Remembered initiative introduced a new dimension in 2016 to the annual remembrance activities by Herbert Mensah in that he fulfilled a wish to bring families of the Accra Sports Stadium disaster and the Ellis Park Stadium disaster together.

Ntlakanipho Zulu and Mmakgomo Tshetlo were identified with the help of City Press in South Africa and joined the President of Ghana Rugby Association, Mr. Herbert Mensah and the May 9th Remembered organising team for the 2016 remembrance activities in Kumasi.

Ntlakanipho Zulu, who lost both his parents in the worst sporting tragedy in South African history, was 23 years old when he arrived in Ghana. According to him, it was difficult to watch football matches, particularly the much-loved derbies between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Mmakgomo Matshidiso Tshetlo, who joined Ntlakanipho and who was 28 years old when visiting Ghana, saw her dad the last time during the first school holidays of the year in which he passed away that tragic day on 11 April 2001.

The 2016 May 9th Remembered programme again included a well-attended street march in Kumasi.

2015 May 9th Commemoration

In 2015, Mensah again embarked on organising awareness events in Accra and Kumasi.

At a ceremony at Nima organised by Mensah to bring the families of the victims in the Greater Accra and the Ashanti Regions together, Rukaya Alidu – who lost two brothers, Ahmed Samadu and Ibrahim Adi – said: “Apart from an amount of three hundred Ghana cedis extended to the family after the disaster nothing has been given to them."

The 2015 May 9 Remembered event included various activities, including a football contest organised by Mensah that was played at the Aboabo Middle ‘B’ Park with participating teams from the Zongo areas in Kumasi.

The highlight was the walk through the streets of Kumasi by thousands of people, which has become an annual tradition. Mensah stated in a media interview that, “The tragedy should make football fans more careful. They should understand they are brothers and sisters off the field and they must exhibit the positive rage that comes with soccer.”

Radio and TV Interviews

Mensah is frequently interviewed by the Ghanaian media due to his frank and open opinions.

In October 2015, he appeared on the Metro TV inaugural show of “Ghana Conversations” with Paul Adom Otchere where he said “Ghana is facing a myriad of challenges and citizens must be able to criticize constructively to push leaders to solve problems.” He also appealed to the President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, to bring Ghana to the point “where people are brought forth to be accountable, jailed, removed or dismissed as a matter of course.”


Herbert Mensah Wikipedia