The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, yesterday marked the 100-day countdown to the opening of the 13th Africa Games in Accra with a tree-planting ceremony at the Borteyman Sports Complex where a facility is under construction for the hosting of the games.
In the company of the Minister of Youth and Sports (MoYS), Mustapha Ussif, Chief Director of MoYS, Mr William Kartey, Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Peter Twumasi, the Executive Chairman of Accra 2023, Dr Kweku Ofosu Asare, and other dignitaries, Dr Bawumia inspected the facility undertaken by Contracta UK Limited.
The 6-kilometre access road being constructed by Mrs Oswald Investment Limited, which starts from School Junction, East Legon, expected to ease congestion and create access for commuters who will connect from other parts of Accra to Borteyman for the Games, is nearing completion.
The Borteyman Sports Complex will house the aquatic centre, a multipurpose sports hall for all indoors games and a 500-capacity dome for games, among others.
Dr Bawumia also inspected the 11,000-capacity (UG) University of Ghana sports complex constructed by Consar.
That would have an athletics oval, warm-up athletics track, a hostel facility and the Games Village by Mawums Limited.
In his address, Dr Bawumia expressed confidence in the ability of MoYS and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to stage the best African Games to date.
“The next 100 days are crucial for all of us and marks a point of no return for the country. I wish to pledge the full commitment of the government, on behalf of the people, to ensure that all visitors to the country are secured and would enjoy the typical Ghanaian hospitality.”
Dr Bawumia expressed satisfaction at the level of work done and noted that the December 31 deadline for completion would be met by all the contractors.
“As we enter the final stretch in our preparations for the Games, the government with our African Union (AU), the Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA), the Association of Africa Sports Confederations (AASC), and partners, will do everything possible to make our visitors feel welcome and ensure the best arrangements for the planned events.”
According to him, the African Games was a major avenue to highlight sports as a means to create jobs for the youth of Africa. The Games also offer the opportunity to leverage sports as a tool for comprehensive, sustainable socio-cultural and economic development.
“The construction of these magnificent, multi-purpose facilities at Borteyman and the University of Ghana for the African Games clearly demonstrates our government’s commitment to the development of much-needed sports infrastructure in Ghana.”
He said maintaining these facilities is as important as building them, so I want to urge the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other stakeholders in charge of these facilities to prioritise maintenance.
On his part, Mustapha Ussif said the contractors have been directed to deliver facilities that meet international standards.
“The legacy we want to leave behind after the Africa Games is one that would ensure that Accra becomes the sports hub of West Africa; the exact vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”
Dr Ofosu-Asare, on his part said the marking of the 100 days to the Games was significant because it has come at a time where people are speculating that the Games would not come on.
“Dr Bawumia’s involvement in today’s event sends a strong signal to the rest of Ghana and Africa that Accra 2023 is coming on live in Ghana from March 8-23, 2024.”
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY