President of the Ghana Football Association Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku on Wednesday, September 02, 2020 delivered the keynote address at the second edition of the Africa Women’s Sports Summit.
The programme, which is a mentorship event on greater female inclusion in the African sports ecosystem was held online via Webinar due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
This year’s event was under the theme, shifting mindsets. Other speakers on the day were FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, Aisha Falode, President, Nigeria Women Football League and Isha Johansen, President of the Sierra Leone Football Association. Here is a transcript of President Okraku’s speech at the event.
Support for Women in Sports
The Sports community needs to commit to supporting the effort of women in sports. It seeks a commitment from governmental and non-governmental organizations and all institutions involved in sports through the development of policies, structures and systems.
Invest in yourselves, be the best that you can be. Break records, set new records, become the champions of your respective countries in sports.
On opportunity creation and empowerment
Continue to empower and drive the creation of opportunities in sports (be it on the fields, the tracks, gymnasium, coaching, management, ownership, media, government, etc). We will support you.
On being inspiring and empowering
I urge women across the world to be intentional in inspiring, empowering and investing in your discipline of choice. Throughout the world significant developments are taking place for women and sport.
On level playing field
The playing field has not always been level. We have witnessed over the years how skewed it has been against women pursuing sports, notably in football.
On inspiring Women Athletes to pursue their dreams
The inspiration that women athletes have given to many over the years, especially to young girls to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacles, is a clarion call that has increased in resonance in the 21st century.
On operating an all-inclusive sports industry
Sports is the reward of a functioning society. We cannot operate as an all-encompassing society without the inclusion of everyone, particularly women.
On improving the narrative for the next generation
The sports world shall continue to support and engage activities that advance positive change in sports. With women at the forefront, we can improve the narrative for the next generation.
On vision for Women in Sports
Indeed, as the President of the Ghana Football Association, one of the key transformational issues that the Association is addressing is the state of Women’s participation and presence in sports.
On why he accepted to speak at this years Africa Women’s Sports Summit
When the Africa Women’s Sports Summit Committee approached me about this event, I readily agreed to participate. This is because the essence of this year’s topic resonates with the agenda currently being implemented at the GFA.