Government invests $154m in sports facilities— Sports Minister
Government has so far spent $154 million on the reconstruction of the Legon Sports Stadium and other sports facilities including a world class rugby park, swimming pool and athletics oval, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Ussif Mustapha, has disclosed.
Those facilities are meant for the 13th Africa Games to be staged in Ghana, according to Mr Mustapha, were almost ready.
“Facilities for the 13th African Games are almost complete for the Games in March next year. The quality of these facilities will open Ghana up to host other continental and world championships.”
Mustapha Ussif made this disclosure yesterday when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra.
As a result, the Sector Minister hinted that Accra, the nation’s capital, was being positioned to become the hub for sports in West Africa and beyond.
According to him, the 2023 African Games will be used to lead the charge in making Ghana a destination for global sporting activities.
He said the facilities, after the Games, would be transformed into a University for Sports Development to serve as a legacy for the Games.
He expressed appreciation to the African Union (AU) and other stakeholders for collaborating with the government to ensure Ghana hosted a successful Games in March 2024.
He commended the LOC led by Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare for the hard work and dedication towards the Games and the University of Ghana for their cooperation.
“This is the first time Ghana is hosting the Games since 1965; we are certain that we would host the best Games on the continent,” he stressed.
He urged the athletes and officials to prepare for the Games, and ensure Ghana bagged in a historic medal haul to make up for the investment.
“We cannot embark in this huge infrastructural development and not expect medals. The Chef de Mission would work with the federations to get the best athletes for the Games,” he added.
On sports development in general, Mustapha Ussif said the government was committed to providing infrastructure across the country to nurture sporting talents across the country.
“We currently have 136 astroturfs across the country to develop juvenile and school sports. FIFA has provided 30,000 footballs which would be given out to schools for sports development, while the Ministry has launched the 1,000,000 football strategy that would go a long way to aid football growth,” he announced.
The AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Minata Samate Cessouma, who was at the conference said she was impressed with the state of facilities for the Games.
“Most importantly, I am happy it would be used as a University for the promotion of sports on the continent,” she said.
She called on member states to partner and cooperate with Ghana to organise the African Games in 2024.
“It would be an important source of revenue not only for Ghana, but the continent as a whole. We need all institutions to share interest and establish a strong partnership for the Games,” she stated.