13th African Games concludes in Accra, Ghana

Athletes from 54 nations competed in Ghana at the 13th African Games. The three-week event also doubles as the qualifier event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The delayed 2023 African Games kicked off in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on March 8. The games, formerly called the All-African Games, are held every four years, the year before the Olympics.

Over 5,000 athletes from member states of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), competed in the games, participating in 29 different sports disciplines, an increase from the 2019 African Games, which offered 26 sports. The 2015 Games had 22 disciplines.

The events were held in Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city. It’s breathtaking opening ceremony took place at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium, capturing the rich cultural heritage, sporting prowess, and diversity of the African continent.

Its 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.

The 29 disciplines include eight Olympic qualifying events, 15 non-qualifying and seven demonstration sports that showcase emerging trends and disciplines. 

The Olympic qualifying events are swimming, athletics, badminton, cycling, tennis, table tennis, wrestling and triathlon. Demonstration sports include eSports, mixed martial arts, sambo and scrabble, promising what the African Union calls a “glimpse into the future of sports entertainment.”

Medal ranking table

The games ended in Ghana on March 23. Egypt topped the medal ranking table with a total of 189 medals (101 gold, 46 silver and 42 bronze). Behind the North African country is Nigeria position with 120 medals (47 gold, 33 silver and 40 bronze).

South Africa is in third position with 106 medals (32 gold, 32 silver and 42 bronze). Other countries that complete the top five are Algeria with 114 medals (29 gold, 38 silver and 47 bronze) and Tunisia with 87 medals (21 gold, 27 silver and 39 bronze).

The host country, Ghana finished 6th with 68 medals comprising 19 Gold, 29 Silver and 20 Bronze medals, which is an improvement from the 15th position it finished in the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

Countries like Morocco, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Kenya also made the list’s top 10.

Declaring the close to the 13th African Games in Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed delight at the performance of the athletes, which according to him, was the largest medal haul achieved by Ghana in the history of the African Games.

President Akufo-Addo praised the Ghanaian team, the 52 participating countries, members of the organizing committee, officials at the tournament and the hundreds of volunteers for showing Africa and the world “the best of Ghana”.

He expressed the hope that the successes recorded at the 16-day Games should serve as catalyst to invest further in Sports development and empowering the Ghanaian youth to attain greater heights.

The highlights of the closing ceremony included the parade of all the participating countries’ flags, the match pass of the all the contingents, the Volunteers and the recognition and presentation of gifts to the retired and first female Secretary General of FIFA, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura from Senegal.

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