January 27, 2015 By: Sahr Morris Jr
Deputy Minister of Sports, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh, has assured athletes and sporting disciplines in the country that Sierra Leone will compete in the 11th edition of the All-Africa Games scheduled for September 4-19 this year in Brazzaville, Congo.
The deputy minister made this pledge in an exclusive interview with Concord Sports following concerns raised by sporting associations’ officials and the Chef de Mission of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), Unisa Deen Kargbo that the country may not be able to participate in the Games due to the huge debt it owes.
Allaying the fears of officials and athletes, Minister Conteh said participating in the All-Africa Games is a top priority of his ministry, and that they are working very hard with the other authorities concern to see that the country’s flag flies in Brazzaville.
“The Games are part of our programs and it is one of our topmost priorities,” said Conteh. “We are aware of the debt and as a ministry we are working very hard to see how payment could be made to allow our athletes compete with others in the Games.”
Sierra Leone has been a long absentee from the All-Africa Games after missing out on two occasions, the recent being the 2011 Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
The debt problems have debarred the country from participating in the previous Games as well as in the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.