Probe 13th African Games expenditure, output – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has called for a bi-par­tisan probe into the budget and expenditure of the just ended 13th African Games, Accra 2023.

The Caucus claims that the budget did not match the expen­diture and output of Team Ghana at the Games.

According to them, Parliament in the 2024 budget approved GH₵150 million for the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and an additional US$48 million which in total translates into GH₵750 million for the operation of the LOC and another US$195 million for infrastructure for the games.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Ranking Member on the Youth, Sports, and Culture Committee, and MP for South Tongu, Kobena Mensah Woyome, said the amount spent was in variance with the output.

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“The government spent a stag­gering US$240 million on the just ended games, yet the organisation and management of the event was poor and shambolic.

“Quite apart from the fact that it lacked clear combined effect of economic viability, the organisa­tion of the games lacked clear cut policies for tourism, promotion and trade facilitation. These would have given us some economic value for the huge expenditure on the Games,” Mr Woyome stated.

He said shocking in the face of the huge amount expended on the Games was the neglect of some athletes to provide their personal kits, resulting in some of them wearing inappropriate outfits in the course of their events.

Mr Woyome further said some of the embarrassing spectacles of the Games were the transpor­tation of Ghanaian athletes in the trunk of a pickup vehicle, the non-provision of bicycle for Gha­na’s cyclists, delay of games, lack of fuel in ambulance to accompa­ny cyclists, and power outages.

“Ghanaians deserve to know the amounts allocated for transportation and other Games logistics and how it was spent. Someone must answer for this ba­sic logistic challenges despite the huge amount spent by the LOC,” the MP outlined.

Though the medal haul was Ghana’s best at African Games, Mr Woyome said the 68 medals the country won was as a result of

 the 41 medals the country won in the arm wrestling competition; a game which featured at the Afri­can games for the first time and contested by only eight of the 52 participating countries.

“While we celebrate the feat chalked in football, boxing and weightlifting, we were disap­pointed in the rest of the events because of poor preparations in spite of the huge amounts voted for the Games.”

More disappointing, Mr Woyome again stated that it was the failure of any Ghanaian athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games slated for July in Paris, France.

“It is clear that Ghana did not give our athletes the best of preparation and this reflected in their performance,” he posited.

Describing the Games as a monumental disaster and an embarrassment to Ghana, the lawmaker held that from the issues associated with it, “one can say that the government has failed Ghanaians, all things considered.”


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