The 13th African Games commenced with a breathtaking opening ceremony at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium, capturing the rich cultural heritage, sporting prowess, and diversity of the African continent. This grand event drew Heads of State, dignitaries, athletes, officials, and spectators from across Africa, signifying the start of the highly anticipated games. The theme for this year’s games, “Experience the African Dream,” set the tone for the celebrations and competitions ahead.

Addressing the significance of sports in the continent’s development, the AUC Chairperson H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat elaborated on Agenda 2063 and commended Ghana for its pivotal role in hosting the 13th edition of the African Games in 2023. These games, owned by the African Union on behalf of its member states, mark a unique and historic moment for Ghana and the continent at large.

“African athletes, you have brought honor to the continent with your achievements. As ambassadors and role models, I urge you to engage in fair competition, exemplify sportsmanship, and inspire the next generation,” remarked the AUC Chairperson. This encouragement underscores the games’ role in fostering a sense of pride, unity, and hope across Africa.

The AUC Chairperson was received by H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, accompanied by Hon. Mustapha Ussif. Minister of Youth and Sport and Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, the Executive Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.

In his welcoming speech, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo highlighted that the 13th African Games represent a festival of unity, sportsmanship, and distinction spanning the African continent. He stressed that the occasion stands as a symbol of hope, echoing the collective heritage and unified goals of Africans.

Acknowledging the challenges faced, he continued, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were compelled to reschedule the games to March 2024. It required immense courage to persist with the decision to host the games, and I am elated that we pressed on. Today, Ghana stands tall, buoyed by the extensive sporting infrastructure we’ve established for these games.”

He further implored all participants to embody the highest standards of integrity and sportsmanship, adding, “I urge all competitors to engage in these games with the utmost integrity and sportsmanship, upholding the principles of fair play and mutual respect.” These words not only set a tone of anticipation but also underscore Ghana’s commitment to hosting a landmark event that celebrates both athletic prowess and the enduring spirit of the African continent.

The opening ceremony was a dazzling display of colors, choreography, and symbols that celebrated Africa’s vast diversity. As the participating nations paraded into the stadium, an electric atmosphere of excitement and pride filled the air, embodying the collective values of unity and friendship.

Ghana, the host nation, pulled out all the stops in presenting its cultural treasures, with an array of traditional dances, music, and artistic performances. Top Ghanaian musicians, including the vibrant Award-winning Dancehall artist, Shatta Wale, the charismatic Award-winning afrobeat singer and songwriter King Promise, and South African sensation Kamo Mphela, known for her electrifying Amapiano moves and hits like ‘Dalie, thrilled the audience, adding to the ceremony’s captivating appeal. Watch performances here

Over 5,000 athletes from 54-member states are set to compete in the games, participating in 29 different sports disciplines, including 8 events that will serve as qualifiers for the Olympics. Click here for update on the ongoing African Games

Note to Editor

The African Games, owned and organized by the African Union on behalf of its member states, bring together athletes from across the continent every four years, one year before the Olympics. This prestigious event showcases athletic talent, celebrates African cultural values and heritage, and promotes solidarity and integration. Additionally, the Games play a crucial role in fostering social cohesion and a culture of peace within Africa.

The Games are coordinated  by the African Union Sports Council in collaboration with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of Africa Sports Confederations (AASC) following a Negotiated Agreement signed in February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Management and Organization of the 13th Edition of the African Games