His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, December 27th, commissioned the newly constructed Eastern Regional Multi-purpose Youth Resource Centre in Koforidua.
The facility is the first of ten constructed in the erstwhile Regional capitals to be commissioned by the President and is in line with the government’s commitment to developing the potential of the country’s youth force by fostering creativity and productivity.
It can be recalled that progress on the ambitious projects was momentarily stalled by the unforeseen outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, determination and commitment paved the way for a strategic review that enabled the government to ensure the completion of six out of the ten centres in 2023, with plans far advanced to commission the remaining four by 2024. In his address to the gathering, the President underscored the importance of the ultra-modern facility, emphasizing its contribution to sports development, youth empowerment and the broader national development agenda as a whole.
“This multi-purpose youth resource centre is envisioned as safe spaces for youth congregation and recreation,” he iterated. “It represents a commitment to creating an environment where our youth can thrive, develop essential skills, and contribute meaningfully to our national development agenda. It is a facility that proves the commitment of the NPP to retaining talents, and nurturing them to compete on an international scale.”
This innovative project is timely, as Ghana prepares, for the first time, to host the 13th African Games scheduled for March 2024. It contributes to a wide array of investments made by the government into the sports sector, including the construction of 152 artificial turf pitches across the country and the renovation of national stadia in Cape Coast, Kumasi, Accra, and Sekondi, reflecting its resolve to use sports as a catalyst for economic development and position Ghana as a trailblazer for youth and talent development. “This is a huge step in the youth capacity development agenda of our great nation,” the President noted.
“It is an impetus for progress and growth, including building social capital, stimulating economic development, and facilitating employment opportunities for our youth. It will also provide a platform for athletic excellence, leaving a legacy for generations to come.”
Amongst others, the Koforidua Multi-purpose Youth Resource Centre comprises a FIFA standard football pitch, an 8-lane running track, a VIP stand, a Presidential Lounge, 3 spectator stands, a handball, volleyball and basketball courts, a media booth and a control room. The project was completed by the government through the National Youth Authority (NYA), under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Pius Enam Hadzide reiterated the idea that the edifice is not simply a sporting facility, but an all-inclusive safe space that facilitates holistic physical and intellectual development.
“Pursuant to the government’s innovative approach to youth development, we ensured that the project strategically focused on enhancing user experience by including access to auxiliary facilities like a counselling centre, an Information Technology hub, an entrepreneurship centre and a contemporary restaurant,” he stated.
The remaining five completed Regional MYRCs, located in Wa-Upper West Region, Ho-Volta Region, Axim-Western Region, Dormaa-Bono Region and Dunkwa-on-Ofin in the Central Region will be commissioned and handed over for use in the subsequent months. Work on Phase II of the remaining four – Kaneshie, Navrongo, Yendi and Nyinahini – were temporarily halted in order to ensure that resources are maximized for the quick and prompt completion of the first five projects.
President Nana Akufo-Addo directed the the Ministry of Finance and the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), to allocate the necessary funds to NYA, in accordance with Act 939, for the completion of these legacy projects. Concerning the maintenance of these facilities, the Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong assured that the measures will be put in place to “ensure proper maintenance of the Centre at all times so as to serve its useful purpose”.
The Wednesday event welcomed various stakeholders and hundreds of Eastern Regional natives, including chiefs from surrounding townships, journalists, spectators, and general well-wishers, who relished a euphoric display of sporting dexterity exhibited by selected athletes from across the country.
By: Clement Osei Aboagye