During the 17th ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA held in Djibouti, Cape Verde was chosen to host the maiden edition of the Africa Beach Games in 2019. Founded on 15 April 2015 by ANOCA, the event aims not only to promote beach sports in Africa, but above all to encourage young Africans to get more involved in the practice of beach sports. The event will help young sportsmen and women to grow up healthily, to develop and shine. We have, since 2005, pursued a sports policy that promotes sports for all youth categories, on all types of playgrounds. Beyond the entertaining nature of this new event, it is a didactic tool that brings people closer to nature and fosters solidarity.
The decision taken in Djibouti was the culmination of a process which began with the official announcement of Cape Verde’s bid during the 50th ordinary session of the ANOCA Executive Committee held on 3 and 4 February 2017 in Bamako, Mali. The bid was presented by our own Filomena Fortes, President of NOC Cape Verde, who exhibited and highlighted her country’s potentials during that statutory meeting. The natural, infrastructural and political assets, coupled with a strong political will, actually hit a chord with every member of the General Assembly meeting in Djibouti last May. While visiting the country in January 2017, I had met with several senior officials of the country, who back then expressed support for the bid. Besides, the Minister of Sports, Fernando Elisio Freire, was also in Djibouti to reaffirm the commitment of his country’s government to back the organisation of the games in Cape Verde.
I urge you, officials of the African Olympic Movement, to work to ensure that mass participation in this huge gathering meets the expectations that we have ourselves set for this other event. To succeed, we need to act in synergy to make it a memorable youth jamboree celebrated in a festive, fun-filled atmosphere. At ANOCA, we are working hard and are confident as to the success of this maiden continental beach sports meeting. It being a first, the event should be viewed by us all as a continental and international showcase, a challenging event, just like the African Youth Games and other continental sports meets.
I have the enduring conviction that the Cape Verde appointment will contribute significantly in disseminating the noble values of Olympism to participants and that it will be a great and popular sports festival from beginning to end. The advocacy work done by ANOCA on a daily basis involves guiding youths towards adulthood, and I have the strong belief that the 2019 games can greatly contribute to this. The games should be fulfilling and fun-filled, preach acceptance of others and constitute a vector of individual and collective emancipation of participants.
Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, President of ANOCA