President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut sod for the commencement of construction of an ultra-modern sports complex for the 2023 All Africa Games.
The $145 million sports complex at Borteyman, in the Greater Accra Region, which will be used for the 2023 African Games.
The President said this is the first time in history that Ghana has won the bid to host the All African Games, and commended the various stakeholders for ensuring this historic feat.
He assured that even though the Covid-19 pandemic has had a toll on many sectors of the economy, his government would do all it can to ensure that Ghana hosts the best event ever in the history of the All Africa Games.
Making reference to the popular saying ‘A sound mind lives in a healthy body’, the President said sports is important because it plays a critical role in the development of youth, and also contributes to the health of every community.
“In our young people, it fosters commitment, discipline, endurance, hard work, resilience, teamwork and tenacity whilst building up the confidence of its participants. These attributes and skills associated with sports are vital in developing the future citizens of every society,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said even though the glorious days of Ghanaian sports in athletics, football, boxing and table tennis are behind, his government, through the Youth and Sports Ministry, is working hard to reverse this trend.
According to President Akufo-Addo, hosting the 13th All African Games will afford the country the opportunity to address capacity deficiencies by providing the relevant human resource capacity to run and manage sports in the country. Additionally, he said, it will give Ghana sporting facilities that will support the development of sports.
The President mentioned that the Borteyman structure would be equipped with facilities that will meet international standards and capable of hosting international competitions.
Some of the facilities that will come with the sports complex include a 400-metre 6-lane athletics warm-up track with playing field for football, washrooms for male and female, spectator stand for 500 people; 1000-seater competition swimming pool, 8-lane competition swimming, 8-lane warm-up swimming pool, 500 temporary dome (handball, judo, karate, taekwondo, etc), 1,000 multi-purpose sports hall (badminton, boxing, volleyball, weightlifting, etc), 5 tennis courts complex including 1,000 centre court (covered spectator stand with a VVIP viewing stand) and space for children’s playground.
With the onset of COVID-19 delaying the start of the project by a year, President Akufo-Addo explained that Government had decided to act on a proposal from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to adopt a hybrid system of facility development, with an upgrade of existing infrastructure in Accra to supplement new ones to be built in Borteyman for the Games.
He stated that the initial plan of Government was to construct all the sports facilities for the All African Games on this 100-acre plot of land, released to the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the University of Ghana.
The project was to comprise a 50,000 capacity Olympic Stadium Complex for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for the athletic and football competitions. However, the period lost due to COVID-19 had made it impossible the construction of the Olympic Stadium Complex in time for the African Games in 2023.
“In place of the Olympic Stadium Complex here at Borteyman, the University of Ghana Sports Stadium, which was abandoned during the eight years of NDC rule from 2009 to 2017, will be upgraded to international standards for some events for the African Games. I say a big thank you to the acting Vice-Chancellor and management of the University of Ghana for this opportunity,” he said.
He noted that the tendency of sporting infrastructure becoming ‘white elephants’ is high, saying these facilities eventually deteriorate, either due to lack of maintenance or underutilisation.
“That is why the model we have adopted for this Games is a framework of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the University of Ghana and the University for Development Studies, to be involved in managing and maintaining the facilities to ensure sustainability and continuity,” he added.
These, the President said, “for us, are the best legacies for the Games to justify the total investment of $195 million and ensure sustainability well into the future. The initial phase of the development here, in Borteyman, is $145 million.”
He expressed the gratitude of Government and people of Ghana to the African Union for honouring Ghana with the right to host and organise the 13th African Games in 2023.
[…] President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says even though the ruling NPP contested the last general elections with two parliamentary seats in Nzema and came out with zero, the party will definitely recapture the lost seats, come 2024. […]