As Africa count down 25 days to the beginning of the 13th African games taking place in Accra Ghana between March 8th – March 23, 2024, Ghana’s minister for youth&sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif (MP) has commissioned a newly constructed sports facility, the Borteyman sports complex in Accra on Tuesday February 13 2024, as part of indications of Ghana’s preparedness to hosts the Games.
Below is the minister’s full speech during the commissioning of the new sports facility.
YOUR EXECELLENCY, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO,
MINISTERS OF STATE
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF DADEKOTOPON,
HER EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR MINATA SAMATE CESSOUMA, CHAIRPERSON OF TCAG AND AU COMMISSIONER FOR HEALTH, HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,
CHIEF DIRECTOR OF THE MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS,
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE,
COORDINATOR OF AFRICAN UNION SPORTS COUNCIL,
PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AFRICAN SPORTS CONFEDERATIONS,
PRESIDENT OF ANOCA,
MEMBERS OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE FOR THE AFRICAN GAMES,
NATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATION HEADS,
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA,
DISTINGUISHED INVITED GUESTS,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
I stand before you once again with immense pride and excitement for another very important ceremony which propels us very close towards hosting and organizing the 13th African Games, Accra 2023.
Today marks a 25-day countdown to the Games after the initial 100-day countdown which most of us gracefully observed at Legon. It is also a significant moment to commission the Borteyman Sports Complex by the first gentleman of our great nation, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
As we cherish this moment and look forward to the rest of Africa joining us here in Accra in 25 days, I am honored to reflect on the journey that has brought us to this 25-day countdown and the significance it holds for our beautiful nation. From the 100-day countdown to this day, a lot has been achieved in the preparation towards the Games, especially, the facilities we see today.
The journey to this day has not been without challenges since Ghana won the bid in 2018 to Host and Organise the 13th African Games, Accra 2023. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, along with our partners and key stakeholders, have faced numerous hurdles in the lead-up to this moment.
The challenges and unforeseen obstacles have been pressing, which requires quick and appropriate solutions. But I can confidently say, Your Excellency, with your unflinching support to the Ministry, we have been able to overcome these challenges through resilience, commitment and determination that define our nation. Thank you Mr. President.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests,
The forthcoming 13th African Games carries immense significance for the national development of Ghana. Beyond the thrill of competition, the event serves as a catalyst for progress, growth and development.
The construction of state-of-the-art sports facilities in the country, not only provides a platform for athletic excellence, but also contributes to the overall infrastructure development, leaving a legacy for generations to come. After Accra 2023, these facilities will serve as centers of excellence, nurturing budding talents, and providing a platform for international competitions. This infrastructural investment also aligns with Government’s long term vision of transforming the entire infrastructure here at Borteyman into a University of Sport for Development.
The reason for this conversion is simple, thus, the huge investment into this magnificent sporting facilities will not only seek to achieve sports development, but also sports for development geared towards socio-economic development of our great country.
In line with the UN Agenda 2030, AU Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the development of sports, sports infrastructure, sports for development, and in particular, the attendance of competitions and tournaments, play crucial role in the socio-cultural transformation of many countries.
Therefore, as we patiently wait for the commissioning of the facilities we see here today by the President of our land, it is my fervent hope that these facilities will be consciously maintained and sustained to continually keep the international standard for continuous development of our sportsmen and women, as well as potential athletes.
As we welcome teams from over 54 countries to our shores, we also recognize the potential of the Games to foster greater unity among African nations.
The interactions that will occur during the Games and the pride associated with it, will contribute immensely to the enhancement of the image of Africa, build cohesion among African states and ensure the general well-being of individuals across the continent.
Let us seize this opportunity to strengthen the bonds that unite us as Africans, to showcase the beauty of our diverse cultures and our collective aspirations for a better continent.
As we count down to the Games in anticipation of the rest of Africa, we also look forward to extending a warm Ghanaian welcome to athletes, coaches, journalists, fans and officials.
Our hospitality will reflect the warmth and friendliness that define our nation. We will make the stay of our guests not just memorable but truly unforgettable.
Once again, I therefore extend a sincere call to our hospitality industry to embrace and take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this Games. Hotels, restaurants, and local businesses, taxi and commercial drivers, this is your time.
I encourage you to showcase the richness of our Ghanaian hospitality, ensuring that every visitor departs with fond memories and a desire to return. The economic prospects for our hospitality sector are vast, and all stakeholders should seize this moment for mutual benefit.
These are the opportunities the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo envisaged when he endorsed the hosting of this competition. He has remained resolute and totally committed to this project.
Before I conclude, let me take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to all stakeholders who have played a pivotal role in the preparation towards hosting and organizing the 13th African Games.
The pace-setting role of my predecessor, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah cannot be forgotten. He deserves lots of commendation for starting this project by leading Ghana to win the bid as a sector Minister. He laid a good foundation which gave me hope and the enthusiasm to continue this project.
To our partners, sponsors, chiefs and traditional leader, members of the local communities, and the dedicated individuals who have tirelessly worked behind the scenes, your contribution has not gone unnoticed. This event is a testament to the power of collaboration and shared commitment, and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you.
The government and the people of Ghana will continue to count on your dedication and commitment to follow through with the remaining preparatory activities to host and organize the best African Games.
Finally, I want to appeal to corporate Ghana, including multi-national companies in the country, not to miss out on this unique opportunity to be our partners.
Join us to make history by coming on board as sponsors, while we also offer a strong national and continental platform to reach out to millions of Ghanaian and African audiences.
God bless Ghana
God bless the African Games
God bless Africa
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa.