The foundation stone for the construction of the Olympafrica Centre in Santa Cruz, Cape Verde, was laid on 17 October 2017. The event was graced by a number of dignitaries, amongst them Sports Minister, Fernando Elisio Freire, the NOC President, Filomena Fortes and Thierno Diack, Executive Director of Olympafrica International Foundation.
Speaking on the occasion, the NOC President said she was elated with the construction of an Olympafrica Centre in Cape Verde, before thanking Olympic Solidarity and ANOCA for contributing to the project. Filomenan Fortes also extended her thanks to the local authorities “who graciously offered us this piece of land.” She went further to say that the future centre will fill a void that has existed for too long. “This is a key action that will uphold our sporting heritage and help teach and pass on values to our youths,” she concluded.
Taking the floor thereafter, Thierno Diack underscored the importance of the Santa Cruz Centre: “This centre is intended for the entire population; you will be the ones to manage it in order to reap both sports and economic benefits.” he asserted.
The future Olympafrica Centre shall span a total surface area of three hectares. The Minister of Sports has undertaken to a build an athletics track and possibly a lawn for the football pitch.
In a message delivered on the occasion, the President of ANOCA, Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, declared that “the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa welcomes the support and precious contribution of the public authorities and their full involvement in the implementation this project, which undeniably remains a great achievement for the sports movement and youths. It clearly testifies to all the attention of the authorities of Cape Verde and their interest in the development of sports and physical activities, which they have made a priority. Today, thanks to our partners and our stated desire to construct as many centres as possible, the Olympafrica network has extended significantly. All these centres are involved in educational and sporting activities designed to uplift their young residents. In this current Olympiad, we hope to intensify our programme and construct more centres, since Olympafrica erects Olympism into a way of life for thousands of African youths. It is a multi-faceted programme, one of the cornerstones of our African youth development policy. Today, Africa counts over 700 million young people aged less than 17.”
Like all other centres across the Continent, the Santa Cruz centre will use sport to consolidate social cohesion amongst youths and develop the practice of sports and physical activities. 44 Centres have to date been constructed across Africa, and 7 others, including Santa Cruz, are under construction.
A strategic meeting was held on the sidelines of the 34th Seminar for Secretaries General of African NOCs in Sal, and brought together ANOCA members and administrators of NOC Cape Verde.
Delegates to the 34th Seminar for Secretaries General of African NOCs in Sal, Cape Verde, also used the opportunity, on 14 October, to tour one of the competition venues of the 2019 Africa Beach Games.