Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the recently-inaugurated Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2023 African Games, DrEmmanuel OwusuAnsah, has asked the public not to be in a rush to criticize the committee.
According to Dr OwusuAnsah, they were yet to begin their work and it would be unfair for the public to begin to assess and criticise the committee.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on October 12 inaugurated a nine-member LOC to steer preparations towards the 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana.
Some members of the public had, however, questioned the credibility of the committee and raised doubts about their ability to deliver on their mandate.
Reacting to such criticisms especially in the media, Dr OwusuAnsah stated that members of the committee were very credible and would deliver a very successful event that the country would be proud of.
“It is actually too early for anyone to question our abilities as a committee but we have very credible members and certainly deliver an outstanding event,”he stated.
The President, he said, trusted their competencies and they would not disappoint him and Ghanaians at large.
He said, however, that they were not solely responsible for the organization of the competition but part of a group – the Comite d’Organisation pour les Jeux Africains(COJA), that would provide the most essentials for the event.
“The LOC is part of a bigger body that organises the African Games. The LOC has some responsibilities including ensuring that we have the organisational logistics, the facilities and equipment needed for the games but then the real organisers are COJA, which organises the technical, marketing and sponsorship aspects of the games,” he explained.
He added that any suggestion by the LOC is subject to approval by the COJA which is made up of African Union representatives, African Sports Council, Association of All Federations as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency.
“These bodies meet to take decision on the organisation of the games. In effect, the real organisation is the responsibility of the African federations whose events are being organized in Ghana and the national federations are responsible for the internal organization of the games,” he stressed.
Therefore, he said, the work of the LOC was to coordinate the work of all these bodies so that they have a successful event.
“So mainly, the LOC would not directly be organising but part of COJA which had not changed for the past eight years.”
He disclosed that, they were not just focused on the African Games but also working towards the establishment of a University of Sports for Development in the country after the Games.
For that reason he said, the LOC was carefully selected with academicians to ensure that a good curriculum and course content was developed for the establishment.
“For example, the chairman is a Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School and at GIMPA, while I was the Director of Sports at the University of Ghana and instrumental in establishing a Department for Physical Education and Sports Studies and Dr Mrs Beatrice Dwumfuor Williams – also a Lecturer,” he stated.
“So immediately after the African Games, the University of Sports for Development takes off and we know we are capable and ready to deliver a successful event,” he added.
Other members of the LOC were, Mr Reks Brobby,Mr Dan Kwaku Yeboah, Mr Ahmed Osumanu, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah,Mr Eva Okyere and Ms Joyce Datsa.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE