The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the first African Para Games, Accra 2023, was formally inaugurated on Friday, 24th February 2023, at the African Paralympic Committee (AfPC) Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
The event also witnessed the official opening of the African Paralympic Committee’s (AfPC) Secretariat – Africa’s Home of Paralympics and the unveiling of the official logo for the Games.
The logo has the Africa map embedded in it, with the red, yellow, green, and black colours of the African continent. It also has the Ghana flag placed where the country is situated on the map on African Map.
In his remarks at the event, Hon. Mustapha Ussif, Minister of Youth and Sports for Ghana, on behalf of the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo and the good people of Ghana expressed the nation’s profound gratitude to the Regional Organization – the African Paralympic Committee and its members for the confidence reposed in Ghana to host and organize the First African Para Games in Accra-Ghana.
“The Republic of Ghana will indeed make history as the first African nation to host and organize the First African Para Games as a separate Regional Multi-Para Sporting competition involving athletes with disabilities on the continent of Africa,” he said.
He added that the appointment and eventual inauguration of the LOC is a strong indication that Ghana is anxiously ready and prepared to host and organize the Games successfully.
He stated that he does not doubt that the team will do their maximum best to mobilize all the resources required for the nation to successfully host the thousands of athletes, coaches, and team officials from all 55 countries in Africa as well as hundreds of dignitaries and volunteers from the rest of the world in Ghana, as a test event for the 13th African Games in 2024.
“Regional Games of this magnitude cannot be successfully planned, implemented and delivered without the support and collaboration of all stakeholders, institutions, organizations, partners, sponsors, philanthropists and individuals,” he pointed out and therefore appealed to all and sundry to join his Ministry as they seek to make history by delivering a memorable first-ever Africa Para Games in the annals of African Para Sports and the Paralympic Movement in Africa.
Samson Deen, President of the African Paralympic Committee (AfPC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC Ghana), said the African Para Games, Accra 2023, is aimed at providing African Para Athletes with a world-class, multi-sport event on African soil, which their “able-bodied” counterparts have enjoyed since the inception of the All-African Games in 1965.
He explained that the idea of the African Para Games as a stand-alone international multi-sporting event for athletes with an impairment in Africa was first borne in 2017 in Angola at the African Paralympic Committee General Assembly.
“Ghana is highly privileged to host and organize the First edition of the African Para Games, which is aimed at providing the African Para Athletes the opportunity to experience a world-class multi-para sporting event on the African continent, serve as a catalyst for further development and promotion of para-sports in Africa, and increased our athlete’s qualification opportunities for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games,” Mr. Deen said.
In his acceptance speech, LOC Chairman Chris Boadi-Mensah said Ghana must raise about Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars to stage successful games. He urged the government, corporate Ghana and all International organizations to support this fantastic project aimed at promoting inclusion through para-sport.
He thanked the President of the Republic of Ghana and the Minister of Youth and Sports for their support towards realizing the goal and the entire Paralympic and Olympic Movements for their solidarity. “Together, we shall inspire a better Africa through sports,” he stated.
Members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are Dr. Chris Boadi-Mensah as Chairman, Bella Bello Bitugu as Director of Sports, Juliana Addo-Yobo as Legal Director, Reks Brobby as Director of Operations Services, Henry Tachie-Menson as Director, Saddick Adams as Communications, Gifty Afia Oware Aboagye as Director of Marketing, Osman Ali as Director of Finance, Eric Kissi as Member of NPC Ghana, and Dr. Hayat Khattab as Member from AfPC Board.
By:Kofi Gyekye Tuffour