UN Africa Games kick off in Namibia

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SWAKOPMUND, Namibia, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The 2023 UN Africa Games started on Friday at the Vineta Sports Field in Swakopmund, a Namibian coastal town approximately 350km from the capital Windhoek.

Emma Kantema-Gaomas, Namibia's Deputy Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, said that sport promotes a sense of well-being and the benefits of sports extend beyond physical activities. Therefore, participating in sports fosters a sense of being part of a team. It teaches us to be resilient, to be disciplined and the value of hard work, she said.

The games are being held under the theme of "The positive impact of sport on mental health."

Kantema-Gaomas added that the UN All Africa Games is not just about competition, but also fosters unity, shared harmony and a celebration of a diverse cultural heritage.

"This unity and collaboration maximizes our collective productivity that transcends borders and cultures. It is a testament to the power of sport as a universal language and it brings us together regardless of our background or nationality," she said.

The countries taking part in the Games are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the games' opening ceremony, Hopolang Phororo, UN Resident Coordinator in Namibia, said that the games play a vital role in enhancing relationships, networking and partnerships among the staff in UN offices and agencies.

"The games also advocate for unity and shared harmony, as we will showcase diverse cultural heritage," said Phororo.

The competing teams will battle it out in athletics, football, netball and badminton, among others, and the Games will conclude on Saturday. Enditem

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