Other Sports of Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Source: Sammy Heywood Okine
African Sporting Initiative (ASI) honours Hon. Nii Armah Ashitey as National Patron
The African Spoting Initiative ASI President Nigerian, Abraham Kwaghfan who is on official business in Ghana to relate and establish improved cordial relations among African member nations on Tuesday February 10, 2014 confered the position and title of National Patron on Hon. Nii Armah Ashitey, Minister of Emploment and Labour Relations for his contribution towards youth development.
Abraham Kwaghfan who was accompanied by country representatives of Cameroun, Togo and Ghana said they have recognized the efforts of the Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, as well as sports enthusiast with keen interest in boxing, football and athletics.
The ASI President said the action signifies the Minister’s love for sports and youth support and they shall be grateful for his investment, commitment towards development of the youth in Ghana and Africa at large.
“This honour bestows on you by Africa’s youth today automatically made you a Youth Ambassador in Africa and you can go anywhere in Africa and empower youth in sports at all level. We shall also call on you from time to time to give moral support and educational advises to African youth in our programmes across Africa” he said.
According Kwaghfan, ASI is standing in the gap between the high class citizens and grass root youth and they are making available opportunities for the youth to take advantage to develop their talents and skills in diverse programmes.
He said they are also using the platform to sensitise and educate the youth on the dangers of drugs and social vises particularly using sports as an instrument for peace
He reminded African leaders that it is cheaper to train and empower the youth positively than to buy arms and ammunition to fight wars with the same youths neglected without positive empowerment.
Hon. Nii Armah Ashitey who was accompanied by his deputy Hon. Antwi Bosiako Sekyere expressed his surprise at the honour and said he was over whelmed and grateful to the ASI.
He appreciated the positive youth in Africa and said the youth are now in leadership positions with President John Mahama as an example.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations promised to continue supporting the youth who love sports and suggested using vocational training to empower the youth. He named some of the training institutions under his Ministry as NVTI, OIC and other community based centers.
He noted that sports is big business, however education is very important and thanked ASI for encouraging the youth of Africa, as in the end it is the people of Africa who will gain.
Alberta Acquah, Vice President of ASI and Ghana representative thanked the Minister for accepting to be a national patron and prayed that the aims and objectives of ASI would be realized and the youth of Africa will rob shoulders with their counterparts in America, Europe and Asia.
Hon. Antwi Bosiako Sekyere encouraged ASI to keep up the working spirit, whist Mr. Roland Nodey, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry urged the ASI members to bury their differences and work as a team and foster better relations among member countries.
ASI is a registered NGO operating in at least eight countries, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cameroun. Plans are advanced to open a branch in South Africa, Botswana and north Africa.
They have organized international football tournaments for the youth in Ghana in 2012, Togo in 2013 and now want to move to Cameroun for an Under 15 Football Tournament in August this year.
There would also be an Executive meeting in Nigeria this year to formulate plans on Africa’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil where five African nations are represented and the up coming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where many African counties who have close ties with the United Kingdom would compete in 17 sports disciplines in eleven days with 261 medal at stake.