The Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, has challenged heads of National Sports Federations (NSF) to extend their activities to the regions and districts of the country in order to qualify as a licensed federation or association.
Opening a day’s seminar in Accra on Monday, the Youth and Sports Minister said the underlying principle should be that a national sports federation must be national in character, having operations in at least 60 per cent of the total number of regions in Ghana, and a minimum of four districts out of each of the said number of regions.
He said sporting groupings or clubs which may not have such national character could, however, be given due recognition by the National Sports Authority (NSA) for some stated reasons.
Government, he said, reckons the fact that sports, if well developed should promote national cohesion and peace, engender national pride, ensure a healthy population as well as promote global peace.
Sports, he noted, also abounds in job opportunities for the youth as well as the population as a whole, the more reason why federations must endeavour to reach out to those in the hinterlands so that hidden talents can be unearthed.
For these reasons, the government, he said, would pursue programmes aimed at harnessing the potentials of sports in the country and chart a new holistic legal and administrative framework for the promotion and development of a private sector driven sports industry.
This new legal framework is also to provide an enabling platform to hasten the consolidation of sports as an industry with the requisite incentives for increased job opportunities for the youth and the general population of Ghana.
The process, according to the sports minister, is underway with the restructuring of the National Sports Council into an Authority.
This, he explained, was to make all sports federations and associations ultimately independent, both financially and structurally, with a new structural interface such as the Sports Authority to facilitate and set the parameters for the operations of all national sports federations and associations.
Dr. Ahmed said the draft of the much awaited Sports Law is currently before Cabinet, adding that “I am confident that it will soon be sent to Parliament to be passed into law.”
He said the passage of the draft into Law will further boost the capacity of the NSA to streamline the activities of the sports federations to make them efficient and viable.
The sector minister assured that the sports bill is currently before a Cabinet sub-committee which is expected to soon forward it to Parliament for approval first quarter of next year.
The seminar, organised by the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), was under the theme ‘Good governance – the question of autonomy of sports federations and the Ghana Olympic Committee.
It seeks to provide a platform that will give all stakeholders the opportunity to air their views on issue of autonomy for sports federations that has become so crucial for the development of sports in the country.
By Andrew Nortey