In May 2013, African Heads of State and Government realised the need to reprioritise Africa’s agenda from the struggle against apartheid and instead, prioritise an all-inclusive social economic development and democratic governance amongst other issues aimed at repositioning Africa to becoming a dominant player in the global arena.
Subsequently, the AU came out with a master plan to transform Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. This was termed Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, which captured how the continent intends to achieve this within 50 years from 2013 to 2063.
The highlight of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, is the attainment of an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena. Furthermore, it aims to achieve its common agenda and ensure development and investment opportunities, particularly in Agric business, infrastructure development, health and education, value addition to Africa Commodities and other relevant areas that could ensure the achievement of Africa becoming a powerhouse in all areas globally.
Africans by nature are very talented in the area of sports and this comparative advantage that African sportsmen and sportswomen have, if well harnessed and developed, can make Africa a superpower in the sporting world. This will feed into the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
This article will mirror how the 13th African Games Accra 2023 will transform Ghana sports and contribute to the attainment of the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
In pursuit of its mandate, the Local Organising Committee for the 13th African Games, Accra 2023 which was inaugurated by H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic on 12th October 2020 to organise and host the 13th African Games drew a Strategic Plan and Tactical Actions with timelines to achieve its mandate. One of its Tactical Actions is to change the narrative of Ghana’s international Games participation from “Qualification to Podium”, with a campaign slogan “Q2P”.
The slogan will drive various initiatives towards changing the mindset of Ghanaian athletes and officials who always focus on qualifying to participate in international games like the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games or World Championships and Tournaments instead of aspiring to mount the podium.
Indeed, for many of the athletes, their goal is just to qualify to participate in an international competition. Once that qualification is achieved, there is little motivation to train harder because winning medals at international games remains a remote possibility for such athletes through no fault of theirs. This is because of the mindset of just qualifying to participate in these international competitions and not winning medals. There is therefore, the need for this mindset to be changed, hence the new slogan from qualification to podium (Q2P).
The absence of world-class facilities has also contributed to African athletes’ inability to achieve the Q2P. This is why the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want is advocating for the building of world-class infrastructure. In this particular instance, sports infrastructure assists sportsmen and sportswomen to perform creditably well on the world stage. The 2023 African Games gives Ghana the opportunity to provide these world class facilities to address its sporting infrastructure deficiencies. It would also give the opportunity to add value to the raw talents and assist in the capacity building of technical and management officials. By hosting the games, Ghana gets the opportunity to promote peace, development and unity in Africa. Hence, contributing its quota in achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
Therefore, the building of facilities at Borteyman and transforming them into the University of Sport for Development, upgrading the facilities in the University of Ghana and many others will enable Ghana to achieve the Ghana we want in our sports development which will feed into the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
It would therefore be essential for patriotic Africans especially Ghanaians to realise the importance of Ghana hosting the African Games. In view of this, whoever thinks otherwise is telling all Africans that the Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want should not be realised.
We call on all Ghanaians to support the LOC’s ‘Q2P’ (Qualification to Podium) initiative which will not only restore Ghana’s position as a force to reckon with in the sporting world but also, position Ghana as a major contributor to achieving African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.