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President Akufo-Addo Speech At The Closing Ceremony Of The 13th African Games

Remarks By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, At The Closing Ceremony Of The 13th African Games, Accra 2023, At The University Of Ghana Sports Stadium, Legon, Accra, On Saturday, 23rd March 2024.

As we bid farewell to the 13th African Games, Accra 2023, here in Accra, I stand before you with a profound sense of pride and gratitude. This fortnight has been a testament to the power of sport uniting nations, fostering friendships, and illustrating the immense talent that exists on our continent.

Indeed, this event has brought together some thirteen thousand (13,000) sports men and women, officials, technicians and volunteers from across Africa.

The Games have strengthened the bonds of friendship and the socio-economic relationships that have existed between African countries over the years. I am particularly happy that, Ghana, one of the front runners of sports on the African continent, has been able to champion the dreams of our young people, shown in the high levels of performance of the athletes in the various competitions.

The opportunity to provide a platform to harmonise Africa’s cross-cultural diversity for development and prosperity is one of the biggest honours bestowed on the State, and, as President of the Republic of Ghana, I do not take this honour lightly.

These Games did not only bring together the best athletes from our continent, but also highlighted the true meaning of African diversity, unity and common purpose of promoting our continent.

The high-level of performances, the display of sportsmanship and competitiveness, which resulted in many athletes setting new personal bests, national records and games records, will, no doubt, inspire up and coming athletes to aim even higher and attain greater standards.

We appreciate the collaboration and support of the African Union Commission, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, the African Union Sports Council, the Local Organising Committee, and other key stakeholders, in ensuring that the 13th African Games truly showcased the unique experiences, cultures and aspirations of the African peoples to the rest of the world.

And we appreciate, above all, the 2 enthusiastic support of thousands of Ghanaians at all the venues for the Games. Ladies and gentlemen, I am particularly delighted, that despite all the challenges that confronted us, Ghana was able to provide world class sporting facilities for the Games.

The edifice in Borteyman, the magnificent Legon Sports Stadium, the beautiful Rugby Pitch, the refurbished Theodosia Okoh Hockey Pitch, the Bukom Boxing Emporium, the rehabilitated Cricket Oval, as well as other facilities provided for the Games, underscore Ghana’s commitment to the development of sports in our country.

I assure my fellow Ghanaians that these facilities will be well maintained, and will serve as appropriate venues for training future champions, and for hosting international sporting tournaments and competitions.

Indeed, the facilities will act as the nucleus for the soon-to-be-established University of Sports for Development, and will also be the venues for the holding of the Ghana National Games, i.e. the annual national sports festival, where winners from the district and regional levels will meet to compete for top honours.

I thank the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports and his able team at the Ministry, the contractors, the Executive Chairman and Members of the Local Organising Committee, the University of Ghana, the Technical Committee of the 13th African Games, and all the other stakeholders for a job well done.

And, to those who visited our shores for the very first time, I hope that you enjoyed the globally acclaimed hospitality of the Ghanaian people during your stay. I am confident that many of you will attest to the warm reception and love that define us, the Ghanaian people, and believe that you will desire to return to our country.

To all the athletes who have competed fiercely, you have not only demonstrated exceptional skill and determination, but you have also embodied the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Your nations appreciate and thank you sincerely for the personal sacrifices and dedication exhibited by you.

Next stop is the Paris Olympic Games, and I am hopeful that you will do your utmost best for Africa to increase her medal tallies substantially. 3 In concluding, I urge all of us to continue to harness the power of sport as a force for positive change, promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding among all peoples.

I extend my warmest wishes to all the participating nations for safe travels back to their respective homes. May the memories of these games inspire us to work together towards a brighter, more prosperous and more united future for Africa and her peoples.

Accordingly, ladies and gentlemen, I declare the 13th African Games, Accra 2023, successfully closed.

Long live Ghana.

Long live the African Games.

Long live the African Union.

Long live Mother Africa, and may Almighty God bless us all.

I thank you for your attention.