President Akufo-Addo cuts sod for African Games 2023 complex

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem, BORTEYMAN
President Akufo-Addo performing the ceremonial sod-cutting for work to start at Borteyman for the construction of sports facilities to host the 2023 African Games
President Akufo-Addo performing the ceremonial sod-cutting for work to start at Borteyman for the construction of sports facilities to host the 2023 African Games

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday cut the sod at Borteyman in the Greater Accra Region for the construction of sports infrastructure to host the 13th African Games 2023 in Accra.

He says the 100-acre Borteyman structure will be equipped with facilities in accordance with International standards capable of hosting any International competition.

This is the first time Ghana is hosting the African Games which started in 1965 in the Republic of Congo.

Borteyman
The Borteyman facilities include 1,000-seater capacity swimming pool that is a 10-lane competition swimming pool, an eight lane warm up swimming pool and a 1,000 seater multi-purpose Sports Hall for basketball, badminton, boxing table tennis and weightlifting.

Others are a 500 seater temporary dome for handball, volleyball, Judo, karate and Taekwondo and a five tennis court complex, including a 1,000 seater Centre Court.

The rest are a six-lane warm up athletics extract, a one FIFA standard football training field and the six kilometers single lane road and a three kilometer double lane road.

University of Sports Development
President Akufo-Addo explained that the facilities mentioned were not the only ones to be built at Borteyman but that one of the major legacies of this project will be the start of a University for Sports Development after the games, which when completed will be the second such University in Africa and amongst the few in the world.

He stated that the facilities to be constructed at the University of Sports Development include lecture halls, students’ hostels, lecturer bungalows and academic facilities.

The total investment is $195 million, however the initial phase of the development at Borteyman was budgeted at $145 million.

Hybrid
President Akufo-Addo indicated that under the circumstances, government had decided to adopt a hybrid system of facility development where it would upgrade existing infrastructure in Accra to supplement new ones to be built in Borteyman.

The original plan was to construct all the sports facilities for the African Games and it was to comprise a 50,000 capacitor Olympics stadium complex for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as for the athletic league, football competitions.

Hosting                                                                                                                                                                                      President Akufo-Addo explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, government could not complete the Borteyman Complex to cater for the entire 24 disciplines for 5,000 athletics and officials for the games.

He noted that the University of Ghana, Legon Sports Stadium will be upgraded to International standards for some events of the African Games.

President Akufo-Addo said because facilities built for such games become white elephants or abandoned or underutilized that was why the two universities were hosting the facilities because facilities are better managed when left in the hands of educational Institutions.

He explained that that was the reason why the University of Ghana and the yet to be established University of Sports Development would be hosting such facilities because studies had shown that they were better managers of such facilities.