The participants therefore urged governments, stakeholders, traditional authorities and other relevant bodies to adopt integrated approaches that would aid the people in arriving at a conducive atmosphere to develop and enhance their livelihood under peaceful conditions.
The roundtable conference, which was organized by the Organisation for African Development (OAD) was under the theme: “The role of Sports and Religion in Peace-building, Poverty alleviation and enhancement of Food Security”, and was attended by the stakeholders including representatives from the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Health, international organizations, media and traditional authorities.
The participants after their deliberations noted that sports and religion are important avenues that can be used by communities and the citizenry towards a peaceful environment and level playing field to ensure poverty alleviation and enhancement of security.
They said that religious tolerance and engagement in sports by the people would not only bring about peaceful co-existence but ensure an enabling atmosphere for the people, in especially in the African continent to harness resource for their development.
Mr Bonaventure Castro Aguissi, President of OAD said there was the need for stakeholders to look for solutions to poverty under conducive atmosphere by utilization of avenues such as development of the vast arable lands for food sufficiency.
He noted that there was the need for the citizenry to take advantage of the arable lands and abundant water sources to ensure food production and security that would propel peace-building and poverty alleviation.
Mr Aguissi said the OAD has plans to encourage the business community to invest in agricultural development and procurement of equipment, encourage the people to go into mechanised agricultural production with the support of the traditional authorities and to assist women’s groups to access credit and the provision of potable water.
Mr Samuel Attipoe, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in an address on behalf of the Minister, Mr Kofi Humado said sports and religion are rallying points that can be used to ensure national cohesion and peace building.
He noted that sports should not just be seen as an entertainment but is a huge income earner and ensures direct and indirect job creation which when developed would go a long way in ensuring the people utilize their time profitably for the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr Ibrahim Adam, Secretary of the Regent of Dagbon, Kumpakuya-Na Abdulai Yakubu Andani who led a delegation of youth leaders and Dagbon Chiefs in Accra to the forum said sports and religious tolerance was very cardinal to ensuring peaceful co-existence, especially in conflict situations.
He urged stakeholders to involve the chiefs and people in deliberations to bring about a conducive atmosphere for peace building, which is cardinal in ensuring poverty alleviation and food security.