Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) has described 2016 as `successful’ following improvements logged at the Rio Olympics.
In a message to member nations Palenfo said ANOCA would emerge the year 2016 held some significance as it symbolised the end of an Olympiad.
“Within the past 12 months we shared rich experiences, celebrating sport as a factor for education, training, health, solidarity and a vector for social cohesion, national pride and peace.
“In a nutshell, 2016 was thrilling as defining moments for our Olympic and Sports Movement, intense moments that showcased our activities and highlighted our commitment to youth development in Africa.
“At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, our continent bagged 45 medals, beating the record of 40 medals hauled at the 2008 Beijing Games.
“I wish, on behalf of all ANOCA member NOCs, to address my heartfelt congratulations to the athletes and their supervisors’’.
Palenfo notes that the accomplishments were possible because of assistance from the Olympic Solidarity that granted 292 scholarships to enable the African athletes to prepare well ahead of the Games.
According to him, the funds were supplemented by financial package from ANOCA that was managed by an Ad Hoc Commission set up to that effect.
Casa Da Africa Rio 2016, a Games’ rendezvous was constructed at global showpiece was a real success as it attracted not less than 46,500 curious visitors; among them key political, sports and cultural figures.
The president notes that perhaps the most significant was the signing, on Sept. 17, 2016 of the initial agreement with the African Union and the AASC over the management of the All Africa Games.
The agreement was concluded prior to an official memorandum of understanding, which shall irrevocably entrust to ANOCA the organisation and management of the Games.
“In terms of the law, ANOCA was very much concerned with measures aimed at improving the Games’ governing instruments.
“On Nov.17 in Doha, we arrived at a consensus to review our Constitution: Amendments made are in keeping with new reforms contained in Agenda 2020 as well as the spirit of the Olympic Charter’’.
Palenfo also notes that preparations ahead of the African Youth Games, billed for Algeria –`Algiers 2018’, took an interesting turn as ANOCA was now working in close collaboration with the AASC to ensure Games’ success.
“Everything, points to the fact that the Games will meet the expectations of the continent’s youths who desire `more sport, more meetings, more exchanges, more pan-African events’ to project a positive image of `a great Africa’’.
Palenfo, then, acknowledged the bilateral cooperation with its partners and consolidated on the existing ties with some of them — USOC, NOC Japan, the International Olympic University, Russia and INSEP, together with the other traditional partners.
The president acknowledged that member –nations took full advantage of Olympic Solidarity programmes, following better understanding of the various administrative and financial procedures involved.
He said the association had been regularly publishing ANOCA Newsletter and issuing press releases, with regular updates on its website as well as Facebook pages, making it more attractive with photos and videos.
“There is also a special newsletter which provided updates on African athletes at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio’’.
The president notes that in the course of the year, ANOCA launched a project to implement a new platform aimed at improving its database and communication with member NOCs.
“ANOCA invested a great deal in the training of sports administrators and in streamlining of NOC administration.
“The seminar for Secretaries General was organised in Sao Tome and the women and sports seminar held in Algiers.
“In like manner during the 2nd session of the General Assembly of the Association of Olympic Academies of Africa, organised in Bamako from March 23 to March 26 2016, participants discussed ways of working together to make Olympic education, a vector for youth training and education’’.
For the Olympafrica programme, its centres took new dimensions following the mobilisation as well as commitment by partners.
“We have to date succeeded in constructing not less than 40 Olympafrica centres across Africa.
“Within the year, no fewer than100, 000 young people participated in athletics competitions and more than 100, 000 others in the Futbolnet programme’’.
This, Palenfo noted was as a result of the dynamic Athletes’ Commission. “ I wish to point out that ANOCA carried out several operations in relation to the athletes’ career monitoring programme on the entire continent’’.
Palenfo, also acknowledged the contributions of many African sons and daughters like Moroccan, Nawal El Moutawakil who completed her tenure as Chairman of the Coordination Commission of the Rio Olympics and The Gambian, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, who got promoted as Secretary- General of FIFA as well as Tegla Loroupe designated Personality of the Year 2016 by the UN for her role in the participation of the IOC refugee team in the Rio Olympics.
The president, then, acknowledged the passing away of some high profile officials of the African Olympic and Sports Movement and other servants of continental sport.
According to him, even though 2016 was rewarding, it is expected that 2017 and beyond should provide more impetus foe development. ##