Govt to set up Youth Development Authority

Isaac Asiamah, Minister of Youth and Sports designate

Mr. Isaac Asiamah, Minister-designate for Youth and Sports

Mr. Isaac Asiamah, Minister-designate for Youth and Sports has indicated that he will use the provisions in the current Sports Act to administer sporting activities in the country.

He said similarly, an umbrella body under the name Youth Development Authority would be established to coordinate,monitor and track progress of all youth programmes in the country.

Mr. Asiamah said this when he took his turn before the Appointment Committee of Parliament yesterday to be vetted for his ministerial position.

Expatiating on sports administration and development through the Act he said it would be the policy of the ministry to deal with departments and agencies under the ministry through the supervisory role of a National Sports Authority (NSA) as captured in the new Act.

He said, as a minister, he would not want to deal directly with the sports associations, especially, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) by being at the forefront of negotiating for their bonuses for representing the nation at international events.

Mr. Asiamah said, the ministry would ensure that it played its oversight role by creating the necessary environment for policies to be implemented by agencies mandated to do while he carried out the coordinating evaluation and monitoring aspect targeted to ensure performance.

He said that most of the sports associations with their international affiliations have structured governance in place which most often attracted sanctions when there was clear evidence of an interference, especially from government.

Mr. Asiamah said it was no secret that the international governing body of football, FIFA, has its stringent principles of slapping sanctions for such interferences therefore, the government would not court FIFA’s wrath by going the path of any unnecessary interference.

He said it was also the intention of the ministry to develop every sporting discipline by giving equal attention and resource which must however be based on the association’s visibility across the country.

Mr. Asiamah said in order to develop sports holistically across the country and also give meaning to building skills in sports disciplines and administration, three major colleges of sports would be established to complement the efforts of Winneba Sports College which was yet to receive accreditation for its academic curricula activities.

He said additionally, five new stadia would be built in Upper West and East, Volta, Eastern and Brong-Ahafo regions (regions without modern stadia) to enhance sports development as well as boost investors’ confidence in sponsorship.

Mr. Asiamah said sports has great potential in contributing immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) build-up and an avenue for job creation with the right legal framework and mechanism in place.

He condemned what he described as “ambush marketing” by same companies who took advantage of the laurels of national teams to only buy space and advertise their products and services instead of contributing directly to be part of the success story.

Mr. Asiamah said it was the intention of the ministry to make the local league very interesting and competitive by giving a quota to local players called for national duties to the senior national football team for international tournaments which would facilitate the necessary environment for their presence in the local league to create excitement.

With regards to youth development, he said within the legal framework of the African Youth Charter, the government would also create acongenial atmosphere for youth empowerment through sporting activities.

By Lawrence Markwei

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