Ghana wants to host 2023 African Games

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
A new logo to reflect the change from All Africa Games to African Games
A new logo to reflect the change from All Africa Games to African Games

Ghana plans to bid to host the 2023  African Games (AG), the Ministry of Youth and Sports has revealed.

Ghana's intention to bid for the 2023 Games, was made known at the Ministry of Youth's  two-day Mid-Year Performance Review conference in Sogakope in the Volta region.

According to the Ministry, underground work has begun with the formation of a four-member committee who has been tasked to put together a bid document for the hosting of the 2023 AAG.

Known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games when it was first held in 1965, the name has changed to African Games to reflect the re-organised African Union which also has seen a change in name from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Though the hosting of the 2023 event had been long proposed by B.T. Baba when he was the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC),insisting that such a venture would help improve the nation's sports infrastructure which would in the end, promote sports development.

However, his proposal was never given a thought as it was considered an expensive plan due to the cost of providing infrastructure to meet the demands of the three-week multi-sports event.

The All Africa Games is the continental version of the Olympic Games and this require sports facilities to host the various sports events, as well as accommodation to host the large teams of the participating countries.

Also, there will be the need for a reliable and efficient transportation to and from the Games Village to the various venues for the sporting events.

Ghana Aziz Zakari challenges Nigeria's Deji Aliu in the final of the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja

Despite being a regular participant of the Africa Games, Ghana has never hosted the event. Though there were plans to bid for the 2019 Games, the proposal was never tabled.

In 2015, then Youth and Sports Minister, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, indicated that the country was going to bid to host the 2019 Games, but that event was eventually awarded to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Ghana's Black Queens won gold in women's football at the 2015 Games in Brazzaville, Congo

The African Games, formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games, are a continental multi-sport event held every four years, organised by the African Union (AU) with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC).

In October 2011, the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) endorsed the recommendation of the fourth Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Sports (CAMS) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A source close to the Conference of Ministers of Sports explained the reasons for the change of name.

“On the establishment of a new Architecture for Africa Games led to the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA).

“The decision, inter alia fractured the function, assets and liabilities of the SCSA to the AU Commission including the ownership of the African Games.

“The decision vested the ownership of the African Games to the AU, while entrusting the management and organisation of the Games to Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC).”

The  Executive Committee of ANOCA selects the host city after it has received bids from the prospective hosts.

The first Games were held in 1965 in Brazzaville, Congo. The International Olympic Committee granted official recognition as a continental multi-sport event, along with the Asian Games and Pan American Games. Since 1999, the Games have also included athletes with a disability.

The 12th edition of the Games will take place in October 2019, in Casablanca, Morocco.  Equatorial Guinea's city of Malabo was originally handed the hosting rights but it lost the right after it became clear the city would not be able to provide the needed infrastructure for such a high-level multi-sports competition.

Casablanca was subsequently named as the new host for the 2019 event.