The fortunes of Ghanaian sport in the year 2018 will hinge on the creation of the National Sports Fund to finance sporting activities in the country.
This was revealed by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta today (Wednesday, November 15, 2017) in parliament during the national budget presentation.
Mr Ofori-Atta in his address revealed the yet to be created fund will be used to improve sports development in the country.
He said: “In 2018, the Ministry will continue the process of passing the Legislative Instruments of the National Youth and Sports Act, pursue the enactment of the draft National Sports College Bill and create a Sports Fund to improve sports development in the country.
Mr Ofori-Atta added that the National Youth Authority will establish the Youth in Sports Development Programme to create a platform for the youth to contribute to sports development.
This is the second time a Finance Minister has pledged to continue the process of passing the Legislative Instruments of the National Youth and Sports Act and pursue the enactment of the draft National Sports College Bill.
It will be recalled that the former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2015 pledged that the Ministry of Youth and Sports would finalize both processes in the year 2016.
About the National Sports Fund
In May this year, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, inaugurated a 13-member Technical Committee to oversee the creation of the National Sports Fund.
According to Mr Asiamah, the committee, headed by his deputy, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, has been tasked to review and put in place an institutional framework that will explore alternative revenue streams aside from the national budget that will be used to cater for all the 43 sporting disciplines in the country.
He lamented that inadequate funding for sports programmes and projects as a result of competing priorities of government had contributed to Ghana’s recent under-achievement in sports.
Inaugurating the committee last Friday in Accra, Mr Asiamah said he was confident that the membership possessed the knowledge, experience and ability to explore innovative ways to raise the necessary funds for sustainable sports development in Ghana.
He said: “Inadequate funds to provide the necessary infrastructure, build the capacity of sports personnel, attract and maintain highly qualified personnel, provide support services to elite and up-and-coming sportspersons, provide adequate sports equipment as well as organise national and international sports events, have been the major reasons for our under-achievements in sports.”
He also noted that the National Sports Fund, when established, would be in fulfilment of a manifesto promise made to the people of Ghana.
Members of the committee include Mr Frank Quist (Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports), Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Acting Director of the National Sports Authority), Dr Kwame Baah-Nuako (Banker and former Management Member of Kumasi Asante Kotoko), Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah (Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Youth and Sports), Mr Daniel Magnus Rex Danquah (Sports Management Consultant) and Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi (GFA President and CAF Vice-President).
The rest are Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong (GNPC CEO), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah (GOC President), Mr Kwabena Yeboah (SWAG President), Madam Sophia Korkor (Legal practitioner), Madam Angela Forson (Management Consultant) and Mr Lawrence Agyinsam (CEO of the Ghana Export-Import Bank).
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Hadzide, in a brief statement before chairing his fist Technical Committee meeting, said the 1992 Constitution placed an onerous responsibility on all members of the committee to ensure the success of the task ahead.