AFPAN, P.E researchers to dialogue in Accra

Author: Beatrice Laryea
The panelists observing proceedings at the launch last Monday

The African Physical Activity Network (AFPAN), in collaboration with the Department of Physical Education and Sports Studies (PESS) of the University of Ghana last Monday launched the third edition of the International Conference on Physical Activity, Sport and Health for Development in Africa (IC-PASHDA) scheduled for September 19 to 21.

The conference, which is expected to bring together about 500 researchers and students of physical activity, people involved in sports and health for development, universities, physical education and sports teachers, coaches, sports analysts, government agencies and departments will be held at the premises of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Legon.

According to the organisers, there will be a pre-conference on September 18 to be conduct by experts from around the world on topics such as Success-oriented Sports Management Practice, The Right to Play Approach to Innovative Pedagogical Practices in Physical Activity and Sports as well as Camp Abilities Approach for Persons with Visual Impairment.

Launching the conference at the Video Conference Room of the College of Education yesterday, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof Samuel Kwame Offei noted that sports and physical activity could make substantial contribution to the health of people in developing countries and globally commending the organisers for the initiative.


Dr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah (2nd from right) was there to represent the Minister of Youth and Sports

“What is remarkable about this occasion is that the Head of Department of the PESS, Prof Reginald Ocansey, as a member of AFPAN, thought of initiating a forum for early career members and students who wish to acquire the experience of meeting other scholars in their field and areas and get experience from such a forum,” he said.

“I have looked at the papers in the programme and they are interesting, relevant and varied both in terms of disciplinary coverage and in the global mix of scholars. I have no doubt in my mind that this will be a very memorable experience for those who are attending the conference for the first time,” he added.”

For her part, the Dean of the School of Communication, Prof Audrey Gadzekpo, who chaired the occasion, said the IC-PASHDA would present an opportunity to renew commitment and support for the movement on health and physical activity.

She said the conference would offer participants access to influential personalities and delegates around the world; networking and connecting with leaders and professionals in the movement to move agenda.


Some participants at the launch

Elaborating on the history of the AFPAN and PASHDA, Prof Reginald Ocansey revealed that the goal was to promote physical activity and sport for health development in all African nations.

He added that in response to AFPAN’s goal, PASHDA mounted two previous international conferences in Maputo, Mozambique in 2014 and in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016 with the third one scheduled for Ghana this month to discuss the pertinent topic of physical activity and sports within the context of public health.

In attendance were Prof John Fletcher, Dean of school of Education and Leadership Studies, Dr Bella Bello Bitugu, Director of the UG Sports Directorate who doubles as chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, Special Advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sports, who delivered the minister’s solidarity message and Mr Rex Brobbey, ambassador of Ghana’s Fastest Human.