African countries have been urged to invest in the promotion of sports, because the continent’s unity and progress, highly depends on sports.
“Nothing unites the world, particularly Africa, more than sports. The development of sports, therefore, is key, as we galvanise our youth to appreciate the need to be patriotic and global citizens.”
Mr. Isaac Asiamah, Minister of Youth and Sports, said this in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Emanuel Owusu Ansah, Special advisor to the Minister, at the official opening of the Second African Regional Congress on Martial Arts in Accra.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah opened the congress on behalf of the minister and said investing into sports in Africa, meant potentially creating thousands of jobs, “thereby contributing significantly to our Gross Domestic Product, and boosting the image of African countries internationally.”
He said currently, the Ministry of Youth and Sports was working towards promoting sports in every part of the country, by building modern youth centers of excellence within every district.
Dr. Owusu-Ansah said whilst martial arts might be associated with fighting and competition, by virtue of its values of respect, discipline and hard work, martial arts also served as a positive tool for human growth.
“It is my hope that after this congress, the art of self-defense in all its forms, would further be employed to promote peace and unity in our world,” he said.
Mr. Sungsoo Kim, the Korean Ambassador to Ghana, said martial arts, when well adopted, could improve significantly upon the human resource base of any country.
He said this was because martial arts taught discipline, and built upon both mental and spiritual strength.
Mr. Sungsoo Kim said it could thus build upon the positive qualities of people, which could further culminate in growth within the larger society.
He expressed the hope that Ghana and Africa as a whole, would gain from the congress, though improving upon the learning of martial arts.
Organised by the UNESCO International Center of Martial Arts, in collaboration with the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, the Congress is to provide a platform to dialogue on current issues for safeguarding and promoting martial arts in West Africa.
It also seeks to build the martial arts network in Africa.
The Congress is under the theme, “Cultural Unity in African Self Defense Traditions, and is being participated by about 80 martial arts experts and students from the continent.