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Ghana To Use Sports As Avenue For Job Creation - Bawumia
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Ghana made a significant stride in the attempt to improve on its sporting fortunes with the re-launch of the national sports festival at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi.

Vice-President, Alhaji Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia, who did the official kick-off at the opening ceremony for the eight-day programme ending on September 7, 2017, said the government had the tenacity of purpose to transform sports development in the country.

“The nation is endowed with countless sporting talents and potentials and we the policy-makers will consequently, explore the needed avenues to harness them to the advantage of our people”, he noted.

Read full speech below


Hon Minister for Youth and Sports

Hon Chief Executives of Metropolitan Chief Executive for Kumasi

Representatives of His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Director General of the National Sports Authority

GOC President, Sports Officials, Sportsmen and Women from the 10 regions of Ghana

Friends of the Media

Distinguished Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


We have gathered here today in the name of sports, not only to achieve laurels, make friends, foster unity and social cohesion, but also to enjoy the rich culture and heritage of the Garden City of West Africa.

I think all of the athletes here deserve a lot of congratulations. You are the best in your regions, and we want to celebrate the best in Ghana. It is really heart-warming, and I bring you greetings from the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. All of you know he was a very avid sports person in his youth, playing football as well as some boxing, and as President he is still very interested in making sure Sports attains its rightful space in terms of Ghana’s economy and our body politic as a whole.

Judging from the colourful turnout of the athletes and officials and the high expectation and excitement of the spectators, I feel the stage is set for outstanding performances at this year’s Sports Festival. I can see and feel that the athletes are ready; and Kumasi is ready. Indeed Ghana is ready for the National Sports Festival.

This is an important Festival. Unfortunately it has not been held in the last six years. But I can see, from the start the Hon Minister for Sports and the National Sports Authority are making, and the commitment of our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to the development of sports in Ghana, that we are going to have a National Sports Festival Insha Allah every year from now onwards.

The National Sports Festival has produced athletes such as Azumah Nelson, Ohene Karikari, Alice Anum, Isaac Quartey “the Bazooka”, Opoku Nti, Opoku Afriyie, Sandy Osei Agyeman, Mercy Addy, Margaret Simpson, Christiana Dodoo and Prof Francis Dodoo, Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Gyan amongst others. So you are really stepping into the shoes of the great legends and you are, God willing, going to make history for yourselves. We hope to see many of you progress into other endeavours of sports and achieve the highest levels.

I would like to thank all those who have made this event a reality, especially His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who gave his spiritual blessing for this festival to happen in Kumasi. I wish to thank the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei-Mensah for ensuring that the best of security and safety measures are in place for an incident-free sports festival.

I would also like to thank the sponsors of this Sports Festival without whose contribution, this event would not have been possible.

Most importantly, I wish to commend the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Authority who are infested with the “Can Do Spirit”  the Government of Nana Akufo-Addo and brought the finest sports talents across the country to ride on the opportunity that is presented here for national development, prosperity, peace and unity.

Distinguished Sportsmen and Sportswomen

Unity and job creation is the official theme of this National Sports Festival which has been in hibernation for six years. The Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes in the potential that sports holds in creating many jobs, as exemplified by the vibrant economic activities taking place around this Festival. In addition, we believe that we if we want the most veritable tool to unite the nation, we should look no further than regular sports competitions among the citizens across the country.

The benefit of bringing the youth of the country together is that the athletes and officials have the opportunity to develop friendship on the playing fields, off the fields and in the Games Village which many a time become lifelong relationships. The exposure to other perspectives gained during socialisation at such festivals or during tournaments make the participants more understanding, empathetic and tolerant of other peoples’ views and interests. The eventual impact on society is, people learn to peacefully co-exist and resolve their differences more amicably rather than through violent means.

It is for these reasons that the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will support the organisation of the National Sports Festival on a regular basis.

We are all one people, and in the name of sports, we should all resist any form of discrimination on grounds of religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation or any form of prejudice.

This Sports Festival embraces the national diversity of culture and society which defines our source of richness. Through the Sports Festival, we want to show that respect for rules, respect for your competitor and respectful dialogue can transcend all differences.

This sports festival should build bridges to bring people together for development and it is not for erecting walls to keep them apart.

This Sports Festival should demonstrate to Ghanaians and indeed the entire world that there can be peaceful co-existence among a heterogeneous society like Ghana and that stiff competition can occur in harmony and with respect for the dignity of all.

As you are all aware, sports is a universal language and it takes place under universal law based on global ethics, fair play, respect and friendship.

I entreat all competitors and officials to make friends with at least one person from each region and learn a greeting from a different region.

Finally, I would like to appeal to the officiating officials to be fair and firm in their decisions, devoid of any sectional emotions and sentiments.

To the athletes, please play to the rules of the game and respect the decisions of the officiating officials. Compete clean – that is, free from any form of performance enhancing substances.

To winners, I say be circumspect and magnanimous in your jubilation.

There will be no losers, because everybody here is a winner.

To the spectators, I entreat you to applaud excellence. Cheer the winning team or athlete and encourage losing teams and athletes.

Consider every athlete or team as first Ghanaian. Regional consideration is secondary.

On this note, while wishing a very exciting, memorable and successful National Sports Festival, I have the singular honour to declare the 2017 National Sports Festival duly opened.

Thank you very much.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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