The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has urged participants of the maiden edition of the Africa Para Games in Ghana to promote social inclusion.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event at the SSNIT Sports Emporium in Accra on Sunday, September 3, 2023, he noted the importance of embracing all and sundry in society.
“Today, as we open a new page in our existence, let us use these Games as a purposeful vehicle highly envisaged to promote social inclusion and help eliminate stigma against persons with disabilities.”
The ceremony was a moment of unrefined joy filled with hope, determination, and unity for the first-ever multi-para sports competition in Africa, which has drawn over 400 physically impaired athletes from 21 countries across the continent.
Under the patronage of the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew George William Parsons, and Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif (MP), the Games stand as a testament to Ghana’s commitment to promoting social inclusion and the rights of vulnerable populations.
The Games, aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, aim to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals. They also seek to create awareness about para-sports, promote harmony, peace, and unity, and provide a platform for athletes to identify their sporting talents.
The event is not only a sporting competition but also a celebration of African culture, fostering friendship and solidarity among nations. It aligns with Agenda 2063’s aspiration to build an Africa with a strong cultural identity and common heritage.
Mr. Andrew George William Parsons, IPC President, expressed his excitement, saying, “The first African Para Games is a historic milestone for the African Paralympic Movement, promoting youth interaction, social integration, and the free movement of sportsmen and women across borders.”
The Games will feature athletes from Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the DR Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The event promises fierce competition and the emergence of sports elites in the African region.
With a vibrant opening ceremony and an array of sports on the schedule, the 1st African Para Games are set to leave a lasting legacy of inclusivity, determination, and excellence.
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