President Akufo-Addo has laid the foundation stone for the commencement of construction works on the $145 million dollars sports infrastructure to be used for the 2023 African Games in Ghana.
The Sports infrastructure will be located at Borteyman, a suburb of Accra, off the Tema motorway.
Addressing the sod cutting ceremony at the construction site at Borteyman today Tuesday the 25th of August 2021, President Akufo-Addo said “hosting and organizing a continental sporting event involving 24 sports disciplines, with maximum participation of 55 African nations and some 5,000 athletes require considerable financial, organizational and infrastructural outlay”.
To this endless, the President noted that the project would have started a year ago if not for the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in order to meet the strict timelines ahead of the competition, government has adopted a proposal of the Sports Ministry that will ensure that the country is able to host the games as planned.
“Understand the circumstances, government has decided to act on a proposal from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to adopt a hybrid system of facility development, where we upgrade existing infrastructure in Accra to supplement new ones to be built here in Borteyman for the games” President Akufo-Addosaid.
In place of the Olympic stadium complex which was to be built as part of the Borteyman facilities, President Akufo-Addo said the “University of Ghana Sports Studium which was abandoned during the 8 years of NDC rule from 2009 to 2017 will be upgraded to international standards for some events of the African Games”.
Facilities to be Built
The Borteyman sport infrastructure will among other facilities have a
“1,000 seater competition swimming pool, that is a 10 lane competition swimming pool, an eight lane warm up swimming pool, a 1,000 seater multipurpose sports hall for basketball, Badminton, boxing, table tennis, and weight lifting, a 500 seater temporary doom for hand ball, volleyball, judo, karate, and Taekwondo, a five tennis court complex including a 1,000 seater centre court, a six lane warm up athletic track and a one Fifa standard football training field.
As part of the project, a six kilometre single lane road and a three kilometre double lane road would also be constructed.
Commitment of Ghana
In his address, President Akufo-Addo assured the country and the rest of Africa that Ghana will organize the best ever African Games inspite of the delay in the start of construction of the sports infrastructure.
“I express the gratitude of Ghana to the African Union for honoring Ghana with the right to host and organize the 13th African Games in 2023. I assure the African Union that Ghana is ready, willing and able to host the most successful and most memorable of African Games” President Akufo-Addo said.
History of the Games
The All-African Games (now christened African Games) was hosted in Congo Brazzaville in July 1965. Over 2500 athletes from 30 countries participated.
The second edition was supposed to be held in Bamako, Mali in 1969 but it was cancelled due to a military coup. Nigeria stepped in to host the games in 1971 but it also failed due to the Biafra war. Nigeria eventually hosted the African games in 1973.
In 1977, the 3rd African Games was scheduled to take place in Algiers, Algeria, but due to technical reasons, the African Games had to be postponed for a year. The games were held in 1978.
Continuing the pattern, the next Games were scheduled to take place in Kenya in 1983, but took place in Nairobi, Kenya in 1987.
The four-year rhythm has not missed a beat since, and the African Games has been organized in Cairo, Harare, Johannesburg, and Abuja. In 2007, Algiers once again hosted the games.
The 10 edition of the Africa Games was held in Maputo, Mozambique in September 2011.
Brazzaville hosted the 2015 edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Games. Rabat, Morocco hosted the 2019 African Games.