By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, December 2, Mana: President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera has hinted that investment in sports infrastructures remains key for the youth to development into sports icons within the region.
He made this remarks Friday during the official opening of the 10th Edition of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games at Bingu National Stadium in Area 48 in Lilongwe.
Chakwera said construction of such sports facilities of international standards require political will and commitment to provide more financial resources. .
“We know, as African countries were are going through a lot of challenges economically but this would not stop us from developing ourselves by providing financial resources for infrastructures development,” he pointed out.
The President said that was why his government made sure to allocate adequate resources for preparations and hosting of the games, including the successful construction of sports facilities of international standard, Griffin Saenda Indoor Sports Complex and National Aquatic Complex.
He said although the gesture received some criticism from those who think that investing in sports and young people was a waste of time.
“There is no investment in young people that is a waste of time. That is why I directed my Minister of Youth and Sports, to ignore the noise and focus on serving the young people of our country and region who have gathered today, and I want to thank him for staying in course,” the President added.
He thanked the officials from the Ministry of Transport and Public Works and the Department of Buildings; Regional and Local Organizing Committees; as well as all our contractors for the timely construction and rehabilitation of these facilities.
Chakwera said he has been looking forward to see the youth demonstrate Africa’s capacity for endurance, resilience, fair play, and victory.
He said definitely been looking forward to enjoy every game in every discipline and that he was happy that his dear brother, President Filipe Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, was present to share the joy.
The President said the two nations have a special bond which is connected by culture, history, economy, and geography, and he wished his counterpart all the best as they prepare to host the next edition of these games. He noted that there are those in our nations who do not share our enthusiasm for these games.
Chakwera added that they say that because our countries have many problems and our citizens are suffering many things, we should not make any time for sports and for play.
The Malawi Leader said there are many positive things happening in our countries, there are many positive things being accomplished by our youth and solution to our problems lies in building on those positives, building on our successes, building on our unity, and building on our strengths. Chakwera said sport is about more than playing games, because sport is about the development of our people and strengthening our minds to achieve great feats.
He said Malawi has been honoured to host you although the economy may be small, but we are a generous people, our problems may be many, but our hospitality is heartfelt.
President Nyusi thanked Malawi government for hosting the Youth games saying this has demonstrated that the country’s leadership was keen to develop the youth through sports. He said it was interesting to note that the games have attracted over 2,000 athletes administrators and coaches. Nyusi added that athletes in continent continue doing well and there was need for more youth involvement in sports. Minister of Youth and Sports, Richard Chimwendo Banda thanked the President for accepting to host the youth games in the country.
He said government demonstrated its commitment to host the games by providing financial resources to host the games.
The Youth Games has attracted athletes from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and 11 sporting codes will be played.