Abuja, 14 May 2017: Djibouti played host to the 17th ordinary General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa from 9 to 11 May 2017. All 54 ANOCA member NOCs attended this session, which featured the following highlights: an opening ceremony, progress reports, election of a new Executive Committee and messages by partner organisations.
The opening ceremony featured four addresses and the award of honorary distinctions. The ball was set rolling with an opening address delivered by the President of NOC Djibouti, Aicha Ali Garad, who said her country was deeply delighted to welcome the entire African Olympic family and all the guests invited by ANOCA. She then thanked the President of the Republic, Ismail Omar Guelleh, for gracing the event: “When I informed him of the holding of this ANOCA General Assembly in Djibouti, the President immediately assured me of his full support to assist us in this wonderful adventure,” she said.
She was succeeded on the rostrum by Intendant General Lassana Palenfo who, in his capacity as ANOCA President, expressed joy that among the dignitaries in attendance was the Head of State of Djibouti. “First and foremost, I wish, on behalf of the African Olympic and Sports Movement, to express my deep appreciation and thanks to the President of the Republic, H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, who has honoured us with his presence. This testifies to his strong commitment to youth and sport development in Djibouti, and his concern for the African Olympic and Sports Movement,” the ANOCA steward underscored, before mentioning IOC President, Thomas Bach. “Allow me to also extend our fraternal greetings to IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach, who will be here by mid afternoon, for accepting to grace our deliberations despite his very tight agenda. It is quite gratifying, and I wish to thank him most sincerely and to express my deep appreciation,” Intendant General Lassana Palenfo further said. Then, addressing the representatives of African NOCs, he observed: “The warmly welcoming disposition and enthusiasm of the people of Djibouti have created enabling conditions for our General Assembly. They are even enriching sources of inspiration which will take our discussions to a higher level. I have the enduring conviction that our deliberations will help assert the commitment and profound will of the African Olympic and Sports Movement to make sports practice an element in its own right in the entire continental sporting landscape and a tool and vector for development and social progress.”
Djibouti’s Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Hassan Kamil, on his part paid a glowing tribute to the NOC President for her tireless efforts, which led to the hosting of the meeting by Djibouti.
In his address, President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh expressed satisfaction with the decision to organise the meeting in his country. He warmly welcomed all delegates to Djibouti, recalling that NOCs contribute to sport development in every country. He then wished ANOCA successful deliberations.
As concerns distinctions, President Ismail Omar Guelleh was decorated with the ANOCA Medal of Merit in Gold, the institution’s highest distinction. “The President of the Republic has pursued a dynamic and proactive policy with the setting up of the National Sports Fund for youth and sports development. His Excellency has included in his government’s agenda the construction of new infrastructure both in the capital city and the other 5 regions in the hinterland,” the ANOCA President asserted, explaining the reasons for the award.
In the same vein, Djibouti’s First Lady, Mrs Kadra Mohamoud Haid, was also decorated by ANOCA for her role in women’s empowerment through the Djibouti national Women’s Association, which is working on a daily basis to foster the women’s cause.
The second highlight featured discussions on various progress reports that were presented. Here, delegates adopted the minutes of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly held on 24 and 25 November 2015 in Mauritius. They further endorsed the report of the outgoing Executive Committee and adopted the 2015 and 2016 Audit Reports presented by Price Waterhouse.
Executive Committee elections took place on 10 May 2017, and the following were elected:
|President||Int. Gl. Lassana Palenfo|
|1st Vice President||Mustapha Berraf|
|2nd Vice President||Joao Afonso Da Costa Alegre Manuel|
|3rd Vice President||Ha Shun Hao Thyn Voon Philippe|
|4th Vice President||Ramoqopo Matlohang|
|Secretary-General||Eng. Ahmed Abu Elgasim|
|Treasurer General||Habu Ahmed Gumel|
The 17th ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA also featured messages by partner institutions and host cities or cities bidding to host various events. These included: Algiers 2018 (3rd African Youth Games), Buenos Aires 2018 (Summer Youth Olympic Games), NOC Cape Verde (maiden African Youth Games), AASC, Tokyo 2020 (Summer Olympic Games), Olympic Solidarity, Olympafrica and the Association of National Olympic Academies of Africa.
At the end of their deliberations, participants took the appointment for 2019 when they will meet for the 18th ordinary General Assembly in Cape Verde.
“Consequent on the declaration of the IOC Executive Board on 16 March 2017 relating to the putting in place of a more solid and independent international anti-doping system, ANOCA members, meeting in Djibouti for their 17th ordinary session, declared their support for this vision of the supreme governing body of the Olympic Movement; the full declaration:
Statement of the ANOCA XVII General Assembly, Djibouti, 9-11 May 2017
The 54 members of ANOCA declared their full support to the implementation of the 12 principles adopted by the IOC Executive Board on 16 March 2017 for a more robust, independent and efficient global anti-doping system to protect clean athletes.
They recognized the necessity for WADA and the testing system to be equally independent from both sports organizations and from national interests and committed to undertake any effort required to make the 12 principles a reality in their respective territories for the benefit of athletes and the Olympic Movement in Africa.
The foundation stone for the construction of the Olympafrica Centre in Santa Cruz, Cape Verde, was laid on 17 October 2017.
On 13 and 14 August 2017, Burkina Faso was hit by a terrorist attack in a café-restaurant in the capital city, Ougadougou. Official reports indicate that 18 people died, amongst them 2 attackers, while 22 others were injured.