Vice-President launches 100-day countdown to African Games
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has officially launched the 100-day countdown to the 13th African Games, scheduled to take place in Accra, next year with a declaration that the country is ready to host Africa's biggest and best sporting extravaganza that would leave unforgettable memories.
Speaking at the launch yesterday at the University of Ghana, which will host some of the scheduled competitions and the Games Village, Dr Bawumia expressed Ghana's commitment to provide a secure, hospitable and competitive environment for all participants.
The Vice-President highlighted the broader significance of the March 8-23, 2024 Games, extending beyond mere competition to encompass cultural, social, health and economic benefits.
"Ghana is interested in organising and hosting the African Games because of its wider cultural, social, health and economic outcomes," he explained.
"Indeed, the Games have the capacity to trigger a wide range of external benefits, including building social capital, stimulating economic development, facilitating employment opportunities, promoting healthy lifestyles and peaceful coexistence," he said.
He underscored the government's massive investment in sports infrastructure development, citing the construction of modern facilities at Borteyman and the University of Ghana, specifically for the African Games.
An aerial view of the infrastructure under construction at the Borteyman site
He also acknowledged the progress made in renovating and constructing sports stadia across the country, including the Accra Sports Stadium, Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale and the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, as proof of the government's commitment to sports development.
The Vice-President expressed confidence in the Local Organising Committee's (LOC) ability to deliver the best African Games to date, showcasing Ghana's hospitality and sporting prowess.
"I have full confidence in the Minister of Youth and Sports and his staff, and the LOC to organise the best African Games to date that would portray all our ideals and aspirations, not only for the Games but also for the people of our beloved continent, Africa," he stated.
Before launching the 100-day countdown, the Vice-President was taken on a tour of the ongoing construction of some facilities at the Borteyman Sports Complex and the University of Ghana to host the multi-sport games.
The tour was led by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, the Executive Chairman of the LOC for the 2023 African Games, Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, and contractors of the two projects.
At the Borteyman site, the minister gave an assurance that the contractors had been instructed to ensure that the facilities, including a 1,000-seater tennis arena, a 10-lane 1,000-seater swimming arena, and a 1,000-seater centre court, meet the highest international standards.
He explained that the construction of the facilities, in which the government invested $195 million, was part of efforts to position Accra as the sporting capital of Africa and place it in readiness to host any international sports tournament.
A total of 23 competitive sporting disciplines will be honoured during the games, with eight -- athletics, badminton, cycling, swimming, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling -- serving as qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Other competitive events include arm wrestling, beach volleyball, 3x3 basketball, boxing, chess, cricket, football, handball, hockey, judo, karate-do, rugby, taekwondo, volleyball, and weightlifting.