The rich Ga culture was put on display yesterday when the 2023 Africa Games was given an identity with the unveiling of the mascot and logo for the competition.
At a colourful ceremony at the Grand Dome of the Accra International Conference Centre, the Games mascot, an eagle, outdoored as ‘ɔkɔdeε’ (Akan name for the giant bird) and the logo were unveiled.
The eagle, clothed in a red, gold and green sportswear, was captured in an energetic mood bearing a lit torch.
The logo has the Africa map embedded in it, with the red, gold and green colours of Ghana, and a black head. It further has the Ghana flag placed at where the country is sited on the map.
The event to unveil the symbols of the Games was christened “Kpodjiemɔ”, a Ga reference for unveiling or a naming ceremony. Symbolically in the presence of traditional leaders of the Osu Stool, a mock traditional naming ceremony was held with women holding three dolls to depict the logo, mascot and the website to be unveiled.
It attracted a host of dignitaries, including the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Ussif Mustapha; the members of the Local Organising Committee headed by Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare and other stakeholders.
At the same event, the official website for the 13th African Games — christened: “Experience the African Dream” — was launched.
The Games are expected to attract over 5,000 sportsmen and sportswomen from 50 countries.
In a speech read on his behalf by the minister, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted that the African Games would be a tool for social cohesion and youth empowerment.
He said aside enhancing cultural peace and fair play, the Games would promote the Olympic spirit in the Ghanaian youth.
“I will like to stress that the African Games is a major platform for athletes on the continent to showcase their talents and knowledge in sports,” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo extolled the virtues of the Games, saying as a founding member of the African Games, Ghana would take the continent by storm in 2023.
The logo was designed by Tracy Ampah Oppong , a 23-year-old former student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, while the mascot was designed by 41-year-old professional designer, Mr Fiifi Forson.
Explaining the rationale behind the logo and mascot, the executive chairman of the LOC , Kwaku Ofosu Asare, stated that the logo and mascot represented the brand and identity of the African Games.
“They are the marketing tools for organising and hosting the African Games,” he stated.
According to him, out of the five bidders for the logo and mascot, three were chosen out of which two were picked for the logo and mascot.
He revealed that a website created Sylvester Aryee, an IT consultant, would enable Ghanaians and the world at large be well and better informed about the Games and daily happenings with respect to how the event would be staged in Ghana.
“The website will provide accurate information about the Games and persons involved in organising it,” he stated.
He disclosed that his outfit would begin a nationwide massive talent hunting drive in January to March next year for athletes who would feature for Ghana.
” Then in May, there will be a national competition to select the best to represent Team Ghana,” he added.
Mr Ofosu Asare said a Games Fund was being finalised to complement government’s effort at funding the African Games.
“Each Ghanaian will be encouraged to give at least one cedi totalling 30 million cedis and those abroad will be encouraged to dole out same to support the Games,” he stated.
The sector minister Mustapha Ussif disclosed that the eagle was chosen as the mascot for the Games to symbolise courage and strength.
“The eagle flies higher than any bird, those with eagle mentality are courageous and brave,” he stated.
He added that Ghana was ready to host the best-ever African Games to leave a lasting legacy for successive generations to come and savour and learn from.
He called on all to support the Games and make it a memorable one.