The stage is set. The race for the rulership of the country from January 1, 2020, is on after the two leading contenders made public their policy documents.
Saturday, August 22, 2020, saw the launch of the manifesto of the leading party NPP in the Central Regional capital of Cape Coast amid pomp and pageantry.
The NDC, the largest opposition party in the country launched its manifesto on Monday, September 7, 2020, and tongues have been sent wagging with arguments for and against the various promises written in the 143-page booklet.
Four AFCON cups, one world youth cup, eight world boxing titles, four Olympic medals, countless number of stars and a significant contribution to the country’s GDP, sports has definitely earned the right feature in the plans of any party or person who intend to be president of the country.
It is therefore not an aberration to see the sector feature prominently in the manifestoes of Akufo-Addo’s NPP and Mahama’s NDC.
The NPP manifesto which preceded the NDC had just four new promises for the sporting industry with the government focusing on completing projects it started in the course of their mandate.
The first and perhaps most immediate of the promises is the staging of the 2023 African Games in the country.
Ghana won the right to hold the competition in the 2018 and preparations have been underway since.
The NPP hopes to execute a flawless competition that will etch in the minds of sports lovers across the continent.
The staging of the African Games will see the NPP construct an Olympic size stadium.
The NPP will also build Youth Resource Centres in six new regions and introduce Zongo Youth Football Talent Hunt.
Unlike the manifesto of their opponents, the NDC has quite a number of projects some of which are a rehash of old promises made.
Grouped under sports infrastructure and sports development and promotion, the NDC’s list is quite longer than the NPP.
Under sports development and promotion, the party has promised to set up a sports fund for the promotion of sports.
With the NPP government on course to establish a sports fund as part of the sports bill, it is unclear how the NDC will achieve theirs.
Like the NPP they also want to ensure a successful hosting of the 2023 African Games.
Football will also be transformed from a recreational activity to a profit-making venture.
Below are the promises under sports development and promotion
a. Establish a Sports Development Fund to promote sports in Ghana.
b. Develop a comprehensive National Sports Policy to outline the vision and strategies for sports development in Ghana with an emphasis on female sports and remuneration of sportspersons.
c. Provide opportunities for training in sports medicine, sports science and management/ administration in sports through the proposed Sports University.
d. Revive and invest in the inter-schools and colleges games
e. Support sports persons to win trophies in international competitions.
f. Facilitate tax exemption/relief regimes to motivate private sponsorship and promotion of sports in the country.
g. Promote and provide funding and invest in the development of lesser-known and indigenous sports.
h. Promote and develop Beach Soccer
i. Develop a framework with the various Sports Associations for promoting and marketing our domestic sports.
j. Ensure the successful hosting and organization of the 13th Africa Games to be hosted in Ghana in September 2023.
k. Develop a sustainable framework for sports financing in Ghana including the facilitation of financing reliefs to motivate public and private sector sponsorship and sports promotion in the country.
l. Transform football from a large social entertainment enterprise to a strategic business with both Government and private sector investment.
m. Encourage and support youth (colts) football and, by extension, youth sports as a cornerstone of Ghana’s sporting regime.
Sports infrastructure development
The upgrade of the Winneba Sports College into a university and the completion of the New Edubiase Sports Stadium headline the sports infrastructure promises made by the John Mahama-led NDC.
They also will set up recreational facilities across all districts in the country.
Below are the promises under sports infrastructure development
a. Develop specific Sports Centres of Excellence in the three geographical zones of Ghana.
b. Develop a strategic framework for the construction of stadia in all districts across the country to scout for sports talents.
c. Upgrade the Winneba Sports College into a state-of-the-art Sports University with campuses in selected regions to enhance the human.
d. Resource base and development of sports in the West African sub-region to provide opportunities for training and capacity building in sports management and administration as well as sports management and science.
e. Continue and complete the New Edubiase Stadium started by the NDC Government.
f. Establish sports recreational facilities in communities in every district.
g. Establish the Sports Development Fund to assist the Sports Associations to provide and improve remuneration and welfare of local sportsmen and women.