Victoria Falls plays host to 48th ordinary session of ANOCA Executive Committee

The 48th ordinary session of the ANOCA Executive Committee took place on
5 and 6 May 2016 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The session was chaired by the
1st Vice President of the institution, Mustapha Berraf, deputising for President
Lassana Palenfo, who was unavoidably absent.
Three major addresses were delivered at the opening ceremony, beginning with
the ZOC President, who welcomed the ANOCA officials to Zimbabwe, saying he
was pleased to host them in his country.
Taking the floor thereafter, the 1st Vice President of ANOCA, Muatapha Berraf,
on behalf of President Lassana Palenfo, expressed his sincere thanks for the warm
welcome and the special attention accorded the ANOCA delegation since their
arrival in Victoria Falls. He then paid a moving tribute to Olympic champion,
Kirsty Coventry. «Zimbabwe is a providential land for sport. This country,
which witnessed the great Shona civilisation, groomed a true champion with a
memorable and legendary track record. Kirsty Coventry, who has won 7 Olympic
medals and several world championships, is a real icon who has consistently
defended and held high African colours,» he said. Mustapha Berraf further
asserted : «We are deeply delighted with Zimbabwe’s will and dynamism to make
sport a fundamental rallying element for various African countries and a factor
for social dynamics.»
On his part, Sport and Recreation Minister, Honourable Makhosini Hlongwane
(MP), situated the event in context : «This Executive Meeting comes at a critical
time on the Olympic calendar, when athletes worldwide are focusing on their
final preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.» The Minister then lauded
ANOCA’s efforts in supporting African athletes qualified for the Rio Games. «I
have been made aware that discussions in your meeting will in part focus on
how best to support African athletes in their final preparations and to lay the
foundation for preparations of our African athletes in future. We applaud your
continued efforts to uplift our continent through the activities of the Olympic
programme.»
Honourable Makhosini Hlongwane also made reference to the organisation of the
All Africa Games : «In relation to the Africa Games, formerly known as the All
Africa Games, Chairman please be assured that Zimbabwe is prepared to work
with ANOCA for the good of and the due recognition of the Games. Zimbabwe is
committed to support dialogue between the ANOCA and the African Union. We
recognise the ultimate importance upholding the best interest of the athlete, by
promoting cooperation and solidarity between these two great entities. We offer
Victoria Falls plays host to 48th ordinary
session of ANOCA Executive Committee
our support to bridge the gap and elevate the overall level of cooperation between
the Olympic Movement and the AU. Regionally the level of collaboration has
shown progress and we would like to see this positive growth escalated over the
continent.»
Participants lauded Algeria’s efforts in preparations for the 3rd African Youth
Games billed for Algiers in 2018. On the issue of doping in Africa, the Director
General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), David Howman, outlined
new measures taken to combat cheating in sport. Executive Committee members
unanimously recommended that the measures be strictly applied in Africa.
Less than 100 days to the Olympics, Executive Committee members applauded
efforts made to help several African athletes prepare fully for the event. The figures
are telling in this regard. ANOCA has already invested no less than $ 505,000
to prepare 101 elite African athletes. Executive Committee members equally
commended the US Olympic Committee, which has offered to sponsor 50 African
athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, USA, ahead of Rio
2016, as part of the ANOCA-USOC partnership agreement in existence since 2011.
It was thus on a general note of satisfaction that members of the ANOCA
Executive Committee rounded off their deliberations in Victoria Falls.