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14.01.2005 Sports News

Another Sports Minister?

By Maurice Quansah
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Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo may not pass for your avid sports aficionado or a man to be charged with crafting a "positive change" for Ghana sports. He is at best famed for tackling high inflation, high interest rates and generally managing Ghana's finances and economy.

Apart from having once seved on the board of Asante Kotoko, and occasional appearances at international football matches, the respected Finance Minister has hardly been openly associated with sports. When last Sunday he joined Education, Youth and Sports Minister Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu to the Kumasi stadium to witness the CAF Confederation Cup final, very few people suspected a possible portfolio switch for the two hot seats in Ghana.

Like a chess master who keeps an opponent guessing his next move, President J.A. Kufuor shocked the sporting fraternity by nominating the MP for Akim Oda as the next sports minister in waiting, with Mr Baah-Wiredu crossing carpet to the Ministry of Finance.

If Mr Osafo-Maafo clears the final hurdle when he faces the Parliamentary Vetting Committee, he will become the fifth Sports Minister in the last four years, thus making the ministry the most unstable of the Kufuor administration.

It has been a ministerial musical chairs since the surprise appointment of Mallam Ali Yusif Isa (who after only three months in office was fired and later convicted for theft of $46,000).

Takoradi-born lawyer Papa Owusu-Ankomah and Edward Osei-Kwaku, until the affable Baah-Wiredu took over the newly established Education, Youth and Sports Ministry.

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