The whole world has heard of the African Cup of Nations and Ghana would be hosting the 16th edition of the continent’s bi-annual soccer fiesta in 2008.
Government and the Local Organising Committee –LOC, shoulder the huge responsibility with the demands of ensuring that the month-long soccer competition between sixteen nations is managed efficiently and successfully.
The world’s lenses would all focus of Ghana. But organization of such an event is very time consuming and indeed capital intensive for a showpiece that would last for a month.
The preparations of the tournament started some years back. And Ghana’s LOC tasked with the massive job of providing stadiums, hotels, training sites, transportation, security, hospitality centres and other requirements continue to deliver by the minute.
Though concerns have been raised in the past over the slow pace of work, the Local Organising Committee say Ghana would be ready to host the rest of the world come some 12 months time.
Even before the kick off in Accra, Government and the LOC, are moving ahead to maximize the marketing potential of the tournament.
On Tuesday, Ghana President, John Agyekum Kufuor will launch the Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations Business Club at the presidency, the Castle, Osu.
According to the LOC, the establishment of the Business Club is to empower business decision-makers to profit from the opportunities offered through partnership for the competition.
A 25- Member Working Group of the Club, which has the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama as the Chairman would be inaugurated by President Kufour.
The membership of the group cuts across with, Ishmael Yamson, former Board Chairman of Unilver Ghana and now of 3rd Horizon Associates, Albert K. Essien – Ecobank, West Africa, Alhassan Andani – Stanbic Bank Ghana and Elizabeth Adjei of Ghana Immigration Services all included in the exclusive club.
“The formation of the Club is part of various initiatives embarked upon to introduce and engineer a change in the relationship between sports events and the Ghana and Africa business communities,” an LOC statement explained.
Dr Kofi Amoah, Chairman of the LOC in an interview explains that the Club is open to businesses.
“Membership of the Ghana 2008 CAN Business Club is open to all businesses with the cardinal objective of providing a platform to strengthen, empower and provide mentorship for small businesses to enhance their development,” he said.
Ghana would be seeking to deliver the best African Cup of Nations tournament ever and the business angle to the tournament begins on Tuesday.
And after Egypt 2006, the destination is certainly Ghana, where a world-class tournament kicks off in January 2008.