ECOWAS keen to revive youth, sports devt
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Resident Representative to Ghana, Mr Baba Gana Wakil, says the institution is focused on shaping the future of sports development for the African youth through the Youth and Sports Development Centre (YSDC).
According to him, the youth constitute the most vibrant, energetic, innovative segment of the population in the region, hence the need to review and update the youth policies and strategic action plans on sports which was first implemented in 2008.
This came to light at a four-day Multi-Disciplinary Task Force Review on Youth and Sports Policies at the Erata Hotel, Accra which kicked off on Tuesday.
Addressing the media, Mr Wakil said “Focusing on the youth is perhaps one of the most important assignments we are here to undertake because we needed to review and bring up to speed our policies on youth in sports development to catch up with the global practices for the future of ECOWAS.”
He said despite the teeming youth having keyed into digital technology, it was still prudent that they do not leave sports behind since it was vital in overcoming barriers and obstacles in the field of culture and religion.
Mr Wakil explained that Ghana was chosen because it has the second biggest youth population in the sub-region after Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Director of YSDC, Mr Francis Chuks Njoaguani, said his outfit recognises the involvement of the youth going into sports and excel to make a living for themselves.
According to him, sports in schools would be actively revived, though there were other flagship programmes like the ECOWAS University Games which had been active.
He said sports cannot be left on the shoulders of governments with regard to funding but was important to partner the private sector to bring to life the ECOWAS Games which was last held in 2012 and other sporting events.
The four-day Multi-Disciplinary Task Force Review on Youth and Sports Policies and Strategic Action Plans have experts drawn from the Universities, the sports sector, and ECOWAS Missions among others to brainstorm on sports development.
The event which was opened on Tuesday, April 25 will end tomorrow.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY