Category: World Sports Created on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:14 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 470
Accra , March 14, GNA -The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Ghana on the hosting of the Second ECOWAS Under-23 Games by Ghana from 2nd to 8th June 2012.
A statement issued from the Communications Unit of ECOWAS copied to GNA Sports, said the MOU was signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadri Desire Ouedraogo and Ghana’s Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Clement Kofi Humado in Accra on 9th February 2012, which provides a framework for collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission and Ghana’s Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure effective coordination of the preparation and the smooth organization of the week-long Games.
The competition provides a forum for interaction between West African youth, strengthens sporting and economic ties between Member States and promotes a sense of belonging among participants.
Under the MOU, the ECOWAS Commission is charged with sponsoring and providing financial support and managing the Games internationally, facilitating transport and boarding avenues for participants and seeing to the publicity of the event, amongst other responsibilities.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports will be responsible for ensuring the availability of sports facilities, logistics and security during activities, as well as handling of the reception and accommodation of participants, in addition to other tasks.
Through the event, the ECOWAS Commission desires to promote and enhance the practice of sports as a means of uniting and encouraging youth in West Africa to progress through balanced development.
The ECOWAS Youth and Sport Development Centre based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will coordinate the Games on behalf of the Commission.
Participants will compete in five sporting events during the second edition of the Games, including athletics, handball, volleyball, traditional wrestling as well as boxing, which will be featuring for the first time.
Nigeria hosted the inaugural edition of the Games in Abuja in 2010.
Meanwhile ECOWAS and Ghanaian officials have evaluated the implementation of the road map for the Second ECOWAS Games to be hosted by Ghana in June 2012.
The road map which covers the activities undertaken from April 2011, delineates the responsibilities to be executed by Ghana and those to be undertaken by the Ouagadougou-based ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre which is coordinating the Games on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission.
The statement said since boxing will feature for the first time in this edition of the Games, it will be an opportunity for interaction among the youth of the sub-region.
“They also contribute to the integration of sports stakeholders in the sub-region, enable Member States to develop their future sports elite, strengthen the economic base for sports and promote a sense of belonging among the participants".
The statement said the second joint meeting, which ended in Accra on 9th March 2012, also reviewed the time-table for the Games, agreed on additional tasks for the successful organization of the Games and modalities for the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding recently signed between the ECOWAS Commission and the Government of Ghana on the Games.
Dr Edward Omane Boamah ,Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, who heads the Games’ Local Organizing Committee, chaired the joint meeting which also reviewed the implementation of the decisions of the first meeting, as well as discussed the programme and the requirements related to referees and judges to be invited to officiate at the Games.
Dr Boamah used the opportunity to reaffirm Ghana’s determination to ensure successful Games not only in terms of providing appropriate facilities but also contribute to the realization of the objective.
Mr Francis Chuks Njoaguani, Director of the Youth and Sports Development Centre, who led the ECOWAS delegation to the meeting, expressed satisfaction with the country’s preparations for the Games.
He assured that the Commission would continue to engage with the country to ensure a hitch-free competition.
The joint meeting was followed by that of the Games Technical Committee, which among other issues, discussed measures to mobilize sports Federations in Member States towards a successful hosting and approved the final regulations for the Games.
The Committee also made various proposals for improving the facilities proposed for the sports, to ensure that they satisfied best practices.
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