Barrack Obama selects ex-Ghanaian footballer for Leaders Africa Programme

King Osei Gyan has been selected by the former U.S President to be part of his Leaders Africa Programme aimed at sharpening the talents of upcoming leaders on the continent.

Barrack Obama selects ex-Ghanaian footballer for Leaders Africa Programme

Osei Gyan, a former Ghana international who grew up in the poor neigbourhood of Nima in Ghana has been recognized by Obama as one of the 200 emerging African leaders selected for his programme.

A few days ago the Barack Obama’s Foundation released a series of photos, through his flagship project on this continent, Leaders Africa , of a young Ghanaian man who Obama believes has the potential to lead Africa to a better future.


King Osei Gyan spent time in South Africa early this year on the Leaders core programme, before he was handed another opportunity to learn first-hand from one of the World’s greatest leaders in Chicago right now, as one of nine of the entire 200 people who were done this honours.

"When I think back to my childhood, it was not exactly written in the stars, that I would be in this situation. I grew up in a place where people must depend on miracles, and this makes me determined to change this paradigm in my community. By strengthening and building systems that allow people to realize their dreams and not be held back by realities. People need opportunities if they have a talent and the will to work hard. No matter where they are born and grow up," says King Gyan from Chicago.

His own destiny changed the day, he was offered a scholarship at the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana’s Eastern Region.

Here he realized his talent as a footballer, which ended up giving him the opportunity to play professional in Europe and realize the childhood dream of representing the Black Stars.

But the education and character development received at the academy is what gives him the tools to make the difference and fulfil his new dream today: to impact and empower his country.


"Right to Dream taught me the importance of a strong diverse community and the power it has to shape the future of the World," King Gyan explains.

"Today this still inspires me. Africa needs opportunities like Right to Dream, because its creates proud Africans who play very important roles in building the communities, that will bring about the change.

"We all complain about what is missing, and we must inspire people to become change-makers instead of complainers."

King Gyan is currently helping to run Right to Dream Academy where his football career started.


He is bent on returning to Ghana to impart what he has learnt after understudying ex-US President Barrack Obama as one of his chosen Leaders on the continent.

Gyan was trained at the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana before leaving his home country for the United States to further his football career. While attending Dunn School, Gyan was honored as a 2005 NSCAA/adidas Boys High School All-America Team. That same year, he was awarded the 2005 NSCAA/adidas High School Boys State Player of the Year for  the state of California. In 2006, he joined the youth system of English Premiership side Fulham, and in 2008 he was loaned to Belgian Jupiler League side Germinal Beerschot until 2010 due to work permit issues.

In January 2011, Gyan joined Canadian club Toronto FC of Major League Soccer on trial for their pre-season in Antalya, Turkey. After a two-week training camp with Viking, he signed a contract with the Norwegian Premier League club. Swedish side Halmstads BK signed him on a 1-year contract, after a week of tryouts, 11 February 2014.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: