African Games
African Games

Celebrating the triumphs and legacy of African Games

With the curtain falling on the 13th African Games in Accra, amid a resplendent closing ceremony at the University of Ghana last Saturday evening, the nation basks in the glory of a record-breaking performance and a successful hosting of this continental extravaganza.


 Ghana can now rightfully stand tall as the proud host of a memorable sporting event that not only showcased athletic prowess but also fostered unity and camaraderie among African nations.

Undoubtedly, the journey towards Accra 2023 was not without hurdles, including the postponement of the event originally set for August last year, yet the past three weeks have proven to be an unforgettable showcase of talent and spirit. Hosting the African Games for the first time in its 65-year history placed Ghana firmly under the global sports spotlight, testing its capacity to deliver a grand event of such magnitude. Despite the country's economic challenges, the government's investment of over $240 million in sports infrastructure and operations underscored its commitment to excellence.

With support from the government and other key stakeholders, the Local Organising Committee, led by Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, ensured Ghana put its best foot forward in spite of a few organisational lapses to host over 5,000 elite athletes and coaches from 54 countries to showcase the continent's sporting excellence and also celebrate diversity. Accra 2023 embodied the spirit of Pan-Africanism, as it provided a platform to forge friendships, and strengthen bonds that transcend borders and African cultures.

Security remained paramount throughout the event, with no notable incidents, and the integrity of competition was upheld with clean participation by athletes, free from doping scandals.

Accra 2023 truly earned its title as the 'People's African Games,' with all sporting events open to the public and free mass transportation provided to facilitate attendance at event venues in Accra and in Cape Coast.

While traditional powerhouses such as Egypt and Nigeria showcased their sporting dominance as countries with the most medals won, Team Ghana delivered the best performance in the history of the African Games and soared to unprecedented heights, clinching a remarkable 68 medals, made up of 19 gold, 29 silver, and 20 bronze. It eclipsed Ghana's previous best of 27 medals achieved during the 1973 African Games in Lagos and signalled a new era of sporting prowess for our nation.

The golden moments were abundant, each contributing to the narrative of Ghana's sporting renaissance. From Winnifred Ntumi's opening medal in weightlifting to Joseph Paul Amoah's electrifying victory in the men's 200m final, to the dominance in football by the Black Princesses and the Black Satellites, as well as the electrifying atmosphere at the Bukom Boxing Arena where Samuel Takyi and the Black Bombers won four gold medals in one day. The African Games were a showcase of talent, dedication and sheer determination. Ghana's emergence as a force to be reckoned with across various disciplines has not only ignited national pride but has also inspired a new generation of athletes to dream big and aim high.

As we reflect on the jubilant moments and historic achievements of this monumental event, the legacy of Accra 2023 lies in its enduring impact on sports infrastructure and development. The extensive renovations and construction of world-class facilities signify a new chapter in the country's sporting ambitions with a commitment to developing sporting talents and positioning itself as a premier destination for local and international tournaments. The Borteyman Sports Complex, University of Ghana Stadium, and Achimota Cricket Oval, among others, stand as tangible symbols of our nation's sporting ambitions.

In light of Ghana's historical challenges in managing major sports facilities, it is imperative that we look beyond the immediate success of Accra 2023 and focus on building a sustainable sports ecosystem.

The Daily Graphic appeals to the government to expedite plans to connect these newly established world-class facilities with the proposed University of Sport for Development. This strategic move would not only bolster expertise in managing sporting projects and facilities but also ensure the long-term viability and maintenance of these infrastructural investments.

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