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By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, March 20, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Nigeria's Rivers State will host the pilot edition of the West African Public Service Games (WAPSGA) tentatively fixed for the first week of September 2012 in Port Harcourt, Engr. Paulinus Nwankwoala, Permanent Secretary of the State's Youth and Sports Ministry, said at the just-ended meeting of the Games main organizing committee.

He told the meeting held at the ECOWAS Commission's Abuja headquarters on 16th March 2012 that the Local Organizing Committee has also held several meetings in Port Harcourt towards making the Games a huge success.

The Abuja meeting discussed preparations for the Games, the terms of reference for the main organizing committee, its composition and composition of various sub-committees, the Games Mascot, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Games as well as a proposal for a high-level meeting of top officials of the State Government and the ECOWAS Commission.

Dr. Sinkiti Ugbe, Director of Gender, Youth and Sports, ECOWAS Commission, who chaired the meeting, described sports as an important tool that could promote regional integrity.

She explained that WAPSGA would bring ECOWAS closer to Community citizens as part of its people-centred vision.

WAPSGA is envisaged as biennial Games with six ECOWAS Member States - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo - taking part in the inaugural edition.

The 10-day competition with some 1,200 expected participants is modelled after the Nigerian Public Service Games and will feature seven sports, including football and track events.