Is Ghana Sports not ‘fit’ enough for Akufo-Addo’s first State of Nation Address?

President Nana Akufo-Addo recounted his fondest memories as an MP for 12 years when  he presented his first state of the Nation’s address in Parliament but he left many sports enthusiasts groping in the dark. 

The address touched on many facets of Ghana’s development including the work of parliament, the electoral commission, the transition period and pockets of lawless conduct on the part of some miscreants.

Other important happenings in Ghana and elsewhere related to our dear nation were elaborated upon by the President. Notable ones included the alacrity with which Parliament dealt with the vetting of ministerial nominees and their approval thus far, the constitution of the Council of State, the issues relating to the inauguration ceremony of the president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, and Ghana’s role in that ECOWAS success story.

He also talked about the state of the economy, governance and other important aspects of our national life. For some strange reasons sports, the sector that employs thousands of people and is worth several billions of cedis was not given any attention by the president.

For purposes of this editorial, it is important to state that the only time the president found it relevant to talk about sports in his address was in the following comment.

“We keep our promises, just as we shall ensure that our sports development is hinged on the revival of school sports,” he said in passing. The sports industry undoubtedly deserves a lot more than this scant reference.

It was an aberration by the president not to touch on the many pressing issues in the sporting arena, considering the crucial role it plays in the development of any country. It is important to remind President Akufo Addo and his team of committed lieutenants not to abandon the teeming followers of sports in this country.

If he is minded, the National Sports Authority, the institution that oversees activities in the various sports associations is debt ridden to the tune of more than 20 million cedis, rendering it dysfunctional to say the least. This strangling debt has clearly affected the management and performance of all other sports in the country with the exception of football.

And even for football, a lot has been said but little has been done for the local league which leaves much to be desired.  I am sure the new sector minister is aware of the challenges bedeviling the local league and even the management of the various national teams.

A sporty nation is said to be a healthy nation and as the Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo led government strives to build a healthy Ghana in all sectors, a humble reminder that Sports will be the best vehicle to achieve that feat. 

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo was apt by saying he will lead a Ghana that will be defined by integrity, sovereignty, a common ethos, discipline, and shared values. He emphasized the point that we must be masters of our own destiny, where we mobilize our own resources for the future. Sports represents the future of the country’s youth.

His Excellency noted that achieving all of the above aspirations require a forward-looking vision for our country, enabling us to confront our challenges and embrace our opportunities, not one fastened in the rear-view mirror. Sports is our vision. A veritable opportunity for growth and development of our country.

Sports has a role to play in all of this and the earlier we publicly align this, the better it will be for the millions who are involved with sports, either as a past time or a professional venture. I reiterate what is not an original statement but an important reminder, well delivered again by the President, God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.

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