Accra, May 17, GNA – Frank Tackie, an architect has rued missed business opportunities when Ghana hosted the Africa Cup of Nations four years ago.
He said staging the continental flagship football event came with several business opportunities that could have developed the country in all aspects; rather a 'mess' was made of the 'golden' opportunity.
Speaking at the 4th Accra Sports Expo on Thursday on the topic “Developing, multi -faceted, viable sports infrastructure,” he said that the focus was largely on the construction of the four stadia to host the tournament instead of the bigger picture as a tool for national development.
Tackie, Chief Executive of the Consortium, a consulting firm of Architects, Planners and Engineers regretted that four-years down the lane, such a perfect opportunity to transform the developmental agenda of the country was accorded little or no technical expertise.
"It was as all about project approach and the focus was on the stadia. Ghana missed a golden opportunity during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and we may never get the chance again,” he said.
He cited countries such as Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and China, who have driven their economic agenda through the hosting of major international sporting competitions such as Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) tournament, Tennis Championship, Grand Prix amongst others due to strategic planning.
He explained that participation does not serve the objective of the Asian countries scrambling to host major international sporting events, rather to boost their economy and the construction of the country as a whole.
On sports talents development, he mentioned factors including exclusive nature of several sporting disciplines (example Golf, Squash), geographic location of sports infrastructure, inadequate funding, urban sprawl and land use concentration in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi as major obstacles.
Tackie stated short and medium term infrastructure plans and underscored the need to intensify the regulatory role of Government in the provision of sports infrastructure by private sector standards for safety, public health amongst others as possible suggestions to tackling the problems.
He also called on the need to provide an enabling framework for mining, gas, financial institutions to provide public usage sports infrastructure.
The Architect also urged Government to bid to host mega projects that will make Ghana a destination for global sports competitions.
The four-day Sports Expo under the theme “Promoting Africa's Talents Globally: Role of Sports Business” is being organized by RICS Consult, the nation's foremost sports business consultancy firm and focuses on ways of leveraging all facets of sports business principles and practices to develop and globally promote Africa's Sports Talents.
The Expo Conference will also seek to reach consensus on a designed road map to assist African nations; governments, sports policy makers, administrators and performers re-think sports as an emerging industry with all its attendant benefits to grow African economies.