President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Ben Nunoo Mensah believes positioning the African Games to make it attractive and glamorous with the presence of top athletes can make it more beneficial as the continent is blessed with the world’s best sportsmen and women, aside the leisure industry aspect.
Contributing to a webinar programme organized by SERIM Sports on Friday 28th August, 2020, he said Africa is naturally blessed sports talents and guided by strategic planning and positive timing, the Games can be hugely successful.
According to Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah who is also an executive member of the ANOCA Marketing Commission as well as serves on the African and Commonwealth Weightlifting Federations, marketing the Games to attract the media to get the general public involve is very important in making the next Games better than the previous held in Rabat, Morocco.
Discussing the topic – the impact of of the African Games on the development of Africa’s sports movement, he said sports has moved from unity and solidarity as the founding fathers of the African Union or OAU to business, as sports can generate multi billion dollar investments, and every competitor wants to win.
“Sports is a brand that generates huge revenue so Africa should take advantage” he stressed.
He expressed that planning was on course with 37% of infrastructure work done till the coronavirus pandemic set in to halt the preparations of the Local Organising Committee.
However he has been assured by the Sports Minister that they are within the time lines and the focus is on a blue print to winning medals by Ghanaian athletes.
He disclosed that staging the Games in Ghana would not be limited to only Accra, the capital city, but multi venue to include Kumasi and Cape Coast, after the signing of the Host Agreement which has to be approved by cabinet.
With two years to go, he feels the need for proper games management for a successful event, and believes the upcoming 2020 general elections would not affect the preparation of the African Games due to the presence of some non political bais staff at the Ministry of Youth & Sports.
Others Speakers were Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo, 3rd vice president of ANOCA and also President of Lesotho NOC, Penalva Cezar Secretary General and CEO of NOC of Mozambique, Beatrice Ayikoru council member of World Athletics and Vice President of Uganda Olympic Committee and Yann Craven, former CEO of the first African Beach Games, Sal 2019 in Cape Verde.
Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo of Citi Fm sports fame in Ghana was the moderator, and he admitted learning a lot from the submissions.
The webinar was organized by SIREM SPORTS, producers of Africa Talks Sports which was founded and managed by Mouhamadou Mustapha Sall, a Senegalese sports journalist.
SIREM sports, an international relations and events management company which handles African Talks Sports, an online global sports web conferences that focuses on African sports development and intended to continue the dialogue with all stake holders in sports in Africa during this period of Covid-19 through web conferences which are conducted in both English and French .
By Sammy Heywood Okine