Bawumia’s Claim on Astro Turfs in Ghana Completely False

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was the guest on Asempa FM’s afternoon political talk show, Ekosii Sen, where he talked about the achievements of the Akufo-Addo-led government.

During the interview, Dr. Bawumia claimed that at the time the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over in 2017, only two astro turfs were built in Ghana. He added that the Akufo-Addo-led government has implemented some astro turf projects  in the Zongos since 2017.

Fact-check Ghana has verified the claim made by Dr. Bawumia and presents the verdict below.

Claim: Dr. Bawumia asked the host “OB, do you know that before NPP came into government, the whole of Ghana had just two astro turfs?

OB inquired further: “Owned by the private sector or government”?

Dr. Bawumia: Just two existed in Ghana.  They told me there were only two. In fact, the contractors who were building some of these astro turfs, a group called Wembley or something, they provided that information to me that there were only two astro turfs in Ghana. Zongo Development Fund is building 10 of these.”

 Verdict: Completely False

 Explanation: As at 2016, there were about six astro turfs  existed and in use in Ghana. One of the foremost astro turfs in Ghana was built in 2006 the West African Football Academy’s in their home grounds in Sogakope in the Volta Region.

Following that, an online news portal, GhanaBusinessnews.com, reported in Decemeber 2013 that the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has begun the construction of an astro turf for Ghana at Prampram. The place, which has been completed, is now being referred to as the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence. This centre has since been inaugurated for use as reported by footy.ghana.com on December 12,2016.

In 2014, Wembley Construction Company Limited constructed a sporting complex to enhance sporting activities in  Kotobabi, a suburb of Accra.

In East Legon two astro turfs were built and being used before 2017.

At the Al Rayan International School in East Legon on April 7,2016, Sporting Club Bechem United had to train on an astro turf built by the school in preparation towards their league match against Tema-based Football club, Inter Allies in the 2016/17 league season.

Aside from that the French International Marcel Desailly Sports Complex now Lizzy Sports Complex has been built in 2009 and in used before the coming into Office of the NPP government.

Also in the Ashanti Region, Right To Dream (RTD) Academy, which has nurtured several football talents, including Black Stars striker David Accam has constructed a multi-purpose astro turf in Kumasi to give many children a new lease of life. The report further indicated that the  Kumasi pitch was the second to be constructed by the academy after a similar one in Takoradi, which was named ‘David Accam Community Pitch’.

It is therefore false for the Vice President to claim that “only 2 astro turfs were in Ghana before 2017 when the NPP assumed Office”.

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