President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, inaugurated a nine-member Local Organising Committee (LOC) to commence preparations toward Ghana’s hosting of the 13th African Games in 2023.
Ghana would for the first time in the 55-year history of the continental multi-sports competition play host to the games, after it won the bid in 2018 to stage it in the country.
The Committee is chaired Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare,a lecturer at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, sports enthusiast and a onetime an Adminstrator and Human Resource Manager of Ashanti Goldfield Company Limited.
The other members are Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, the current technical Advisor on sports at the Youth and Sports Ministry, who would be Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the LOC, Mr. Reks Brobby, a former Olympian and an accomplished sports event organizer, would be the Committee’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Dwumfour Williams, a Clinical Psychologist and University Lecturer and a Board Member of the National Sports Authority.
The rest were Mr. Dan Kwaku Yeboah, a Sports Journalist; Mr. Ahmed Osumanu, a Communication Consultant to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah, President, Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Ms. Eva Okyere, a Lawyer and Ms Joyce Datsa, a Sports Administrator.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the fact that since the inception of the African Games, formerly known as the All African Games, Ghana had never had the privilege of hosting the prestigious event.
He said that for a country that blazed the trail and led the movement for the emancipation and the unity of the continent, the situation “was not right and had to be remedied”
The President told the gathering that soon after he assumed the reins of government, he directed the Sports Minister to prepare Ghana’s bid for the right to host and organize the 2023 African Games.
He congratulated the Minister and his team for doing an excellent work to bring the tournament to Ghana, adding that the hosting of the African Games provides the country with an excellent opportunity to showcase to the world that “Ghana should be a preferred destination for the organization and hosting of international sporting events”.
President Akufo-Addo told the Ministry and the LOC that “Now the hard work to deliver a stellar event begins”, and urged the Committee to bring their expertise to bear in organising a successful event.
“I have no doubt that they (LOC) can organize and produce one of the best African games competitions in the history of the games and help the country regain her pride of place among the elite sporting nations in Africa.
President Akufo-Addo announced that Ghana had put in place a comprehensive programme to ensure the successful hosting of the games.
“I’m happy to announce that the land has been secured to construct the necessary facilities for the games and the procurement process to engage a contractor is ongoing,” he said.
Among the facilities to be constructed include a 50,000 capacity Olympic Stadium complex, multi-purpose sports halls for all indoor games, aquatic centres for swimming, and tennis courts.
The President disclosed that those facilities after the event, would be converted into a University of Sports for Development.
“It is the vision of government for the purpose of sustainability to convert the Olympic sports facilities to be used for the 13th African games into a University of Sport for Development,” he said.
In that regard, the Olympic Stadium complex would have an administration block, hostel facilities, bungalows for senior officials, lecture and research facilities and equipment.
Ghana joins Congo Brazzaville, Mali, Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique as the only countries to have hosted the event.