On March 3, 2023, Asafa Powell, the former world record holder in the 100-meter sprint, and his Ghanaian wife Alyshia Powell paid a courtesy call on the Executive Chairman and some members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 13th African Games, dubbed Accra 2023.
The Executive Chairman of the LOC, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare briefed Asafa on the mandate of the LOC and informed him of the decision of the LOC to appoint him as the brand ambassador of the Games.
He also told him that the LOC is planning to invite a cultural group from Jamaica to perform at the opening ceremony of the African Games.
Asafa accepted the appointment but requested that it is formalized by communicating with his management. He promised to contribute to the promotion and marketing of the 13th African Games, Accra 2023.
Powell suggested that the LOC should use the African Games as a platform to discover and develop athletic talent among primary and senior high school students in Ghana.
He added that Jamaica has a lot of schools that train athletics coaches and therefore has a lot of these professional coaches in Jamaica. He added that Ghana could benefit from the expertise of these professional athletics coaches by collaborating with Jamaica in this area.
Asafa stated that even though Ghana abounds in talents in the area of athletics, it is unfortunate that during his visit, he realised the West African nation lacks the infrastructure for the development and growth of these talents.
He therefore, urged the LOC and the Government of the Republic of Ghana to invest in building more running tracks in communities and primary and senior high schools to grow and develop these abundant talents that Ghana has and to assist them to realise their dreams at both local and international levels.
Dr. Ofosu-Asare used the opportunity to inform Powell and his wife that new facilities, including tracks, were being constructed for the African Games at the University of Ghana, Legon, and Borteyman.
The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah, expressed appreciation to Powell for their willingness to support the LOC to organise and host a memorable African Games.
The 13th African Games, Accra 2023, is scheduled for March 8 to March 23, 2024, and will feature over 5,000 athletes from across the African continent, competing in over 20 sports disciplines with about 12 of them being Olympic qualifiers.
Powell’s ten-day visit to Ghana is expected to enhance the profile of the African Games and also strengthened the bilateral relationship between Ghana and Jamaica the home country of Powell.