President breaks ground for construction of sports infrastructure for 2023 Africa Games

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday cut the sod for the construction of a 145-million-dollar state-of-the-art sporting facility for the hosting of the 13th edition of the African Games, scheduled for 2023 in Ghana.The President said a legacy of hosting the African Games would be the start of the University for Sports Development.

The event kicks off Ghana’s preparation to host and organize the 2023 games, which would for the first time in the history of the continental competition, serve as the qualifiers for the participation of African countries in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.The facilities are to be put up on a 100-acre lot at Borteyman in the Adentan Municipality in Accra.The land was leased to the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the University of Ghana, Legon.The Borteyman Sports Complex will be equipped with facilities that meet international standards, capable of hosting any international competition. These include a 1000-seater swimming arena with a ten-lane swimming pool and an eight-lane warm-up swimming pool for competitors.

Other facilities are a 1,000-seater multipurpose sports hall for basketball, badminton, boxing, table tennis, and weightlifting, as well as a 500-seater temporary dome for handball, volleyball, judo, taekwondo, and karate.

It will also house five tennis courts with a 1000-seater Centre court, a six-lane warm-up athletic track, and one FIFA standard training field for football.

Some 5000 athletes from 55 African nations are expected to compete in 24 sporting disciplines in the Games.

President Akufo-Addo explained that Ghana initially intended to construct a 50,000 capacity Olympic stadium complex for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, as well as for the athletic and football competitions.However, the period lost to COVID-19, he said, had made it impossible to construct the Olympic stadium complex in time for the games in 2023.

Thus, the Government had to act on a proposal by the Youth and Sports Ministry to upgrade the facilities at the University of Ghana’s Stadium to international standards for some events for the African Games.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the provision of infrastructure was critical if Ghana was to regain its pride of place in sports on the continent and in the world.

He said hosting the 13th edition of the African games would also allow Ghana to address its capacity deficiencies in sporting management by building the human resource capacity to run and manage sports.He said the facility, when completed would be the second-largest of such universities in Africa and amongst a few in the world. Along with the sporting infrastructure, lecture halls, students’ hostels, lecturers’ bungalows, as well as academic facilities will be constructed as part of the complex.

The President was confident that Ghana would organize the best African games in history, the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding.

He expressed gratitude to the African Union for the right to host and organize the 13th edition of the games, saying, “I assure the AU that Ghana is ready, willing, and able to host the most successful and most memorable of African games.”

He thanked Parliament for working expeditiously on all the matters concerning the game’s project that came to the House, and also encouraged Ghanaians to rally round the flag and make Ghana proud.

Ghana won the bid to host the African Games in October 2018. This would be the first time the country would host the games since it was started in 1965.

The Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, urged the contractors to complete the project on schedule.


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