Representing the President of ANOCA, the first Vice President, Mustapha Berraf, was ANOCA’s voice at the forum.
Speaking on the occasion, Berraf said that “ANOCA has drawn up a road map in line with IOC goals aimed at encouraging and supporting women’s empowerment at various levels and in all structures, especially in decision-making positions.” According to him, “the said road map demonstrates the commitment of African NOCs to gender equality in sport and in making women a top priority pursuant to IOC Agenda recommendation 11, which urges us to brainstorm together, both at NOC and continental levels, on ways of implementing it.” The First Vice President of ANOCA further said that “The issue is primordial to our action and is a focal concern for our association. Considerable progress has been made with respect to equality and women’s representation is constantly on the rise. Upon recommendation by the President, a female Vice President and a Chairlady of the “Women and Sport” Commission are co-opted into the Executive Committee in addition to the traditional elective posts.”
In the same vein, Mustapha Berraf reminded the gathering of many meetings organised or patronised by ANOCA or in which the association has participated in recent years, and during which it reasserted the place of the woman in the management of sports institutions and sports practice, notably: The Continental Forum on Women and Sport organised by ANOCA in partnership with the IOC Department for International Cooperation and Development in Luanda, Angola, on 8 November 2010; the Women Leaders’ Forum co-patronised by ANOCA and IOC in Harare, Zimbabwe, in January 2012; participation in the 5th IOC World “Women and Sport” Conference from 16 to 18 February 2012 in Los Angeles, jointly organised by IOC, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the South California Olympic Games Committee. The latter was a planetary event during which the ANOCA “Women and Sport” Commission presented a paper, clearly articulating Africa’s stance on the issue.
Mustapha Berraf went further to cite the maiden Afro-Asian Forum on women and sport organised by IOC, ANOCA and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in Kuwait from 18 to 20 November 2013; the “Women and Sport” Forum organised in the Mauritius Island by ANOCA on 24 November 2015 and the 1st Africa “Women and Sport” Forum held on 18 and 19 January 2016 in Algiers under the auspices of the IOC and ANOCA. Organised by NOC Algeria, the meeting brought together 47 NOCs of the Continent under the theme: “Introducing and getting Women and Young Girls Interested in Sport.” According to the first Vice President of ANOCA, the meeting helped put in place “a mechanism that encourages African leaders to promote the inclusion of women in leadership positions and General Assemblies in the area of sport.”
For Mustapha Berraf, ANOCA’s actions to enhance women’s empowerment and inclusion in decision-making bodies today have a noticeable impact within African NOCs: “Allow me state on behalf of all colleagues of our association, that all is in place to empower women in leadership positions within African NOCs, and it can be observed today that they are progressing and do participate more actively in Olympic activities,” he said.
The First Vice President equally touched on the role of the ANOCA women and sport commission: “The ANOCA Women and Sport Commission has stepped up actions and meetings aimed at giving the African woman greater consideration in sport,” he concluded.