Ghana won the bid in 2018 to host the African Games this year, but the Games was rescheduled to March 2024, following unforeseen circumstances which derailed preparations.
With the government investing so much in developing multi-purpose facilities from scratch at Borteyman, as well as completing the University of Ghana Stadium, renovating hostel facilities for accommodation and building other supporting facilities near the University Stadium, all is now almost set for the Games with the launch of 100-day countdown as a significant step.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, after inspecting facilities at both Borteyman and the University of Ghana, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia highlighted the significance of hosting the game in Ghana.
“In its 57 years of existence, the African Games has been organised on 12 occasions by nine different countries. Out of the nine countries, Algeria, Congo Brazzaville and Nigeria have each organised and hosted the Games on two occasions,” Dr Bawumia said.
“However, despite having Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana as a founding member of the Games, the question is, why has Ghana not hosted the African Games until now? The answer is simple; there is a time for everything, and this is our time. Ghana is now ready, willing and capable to organise and host Africa in the biggest sporting competition on the Continent.
“Sports is now more than just a game. In this regard, the hosting of the 13th African Games goes beyond providing a participatory platform for countries to win medals.
“Ghana is interested in organising and hosting the African Games because of its wider cultural, social, health and economic outcomes. Indeed, the Games can trigger off a wide range of external benefits, including building social capital, stimulating economic development, facilitating employment opportunities, promoting healthy lifestyles and peaceful coexistence,” he noted.
Dr Bawumia added that the African Games is an avenue to highlight sports as a means to create jobs for Africa’s youth and “offer the opportunity to leverage sports as a tool for comprehensive sustainable socio-cultural and economic development.”
“Indeed, our government sees the development, promotion and organisation of sports, especially the African Games as an investment for the future. The construction of modern sports facilities for the African Games is therefore a deliberate effort towards providing additional infrastructural to propel Sport for Development,” he noted.
About 5,000 athletes, 3,000 officials and over 30,000 fans are expected in the country for the Games, which will be held between March 8, 2024, and March 23, 2024.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD