For several years now, we have striven with commitment, zeal and determination to contribute to the development of sport on the continent. Together, we decided to make athletes our focal concern. Our sport development policy thus took shape gradually but surely. Our action on behalf of athletes has thus always been diversified. At institutional level, we set up the Athletes’ Commission, which liaises between active athletes and ANOCA. We seek, through this dynamic Commission chaired by our own Amadou Dia Ba, to make good use of our power with the prospect of building the capacities of the Continent’s athletes. It is against this backdrop that the Maiden African Athletes’ Forum was organised on 3 and 4 October 2015, in Rabat, which was an interesting exchange forum to showcase the important role athletes play in Olympic institutions. On another level, we have always been concerned with training of athletes and coaches to enable them to progress with the assistance of relevant sports confederations. Apart from scholarships from Olympic Solidarity, which funded 3012 individual projects, many of them training courses between 2013 and 2016, 101 athletes who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio received financial assistance through the ad hoc Committee set up by ANOCA. In the same vein, 39 coaches from 22 countries were trained in the U.S.A. In the years ahead, we are looking forward, with assistance from bilateral partners, to granting more scholarships for the training of athletes and coaches.
As concerns the funding of athletes, we basically concentrated our efforts on sourcing partners and direct subsidies. Talking about partnerships, we partnered with new structures and consolidated existing partnership deals, which offer our athletes a whole range of opportunities. Such is the case with USOC, NOC Japan, the International Olympic University of Russia… We do not intend to stop here! Pertaining to direct subsidies, in the build-up to Rio 2016, ANOCA granted a $ 607,000 package to the ad hoc Committee set up to help African athletes to fully prepare for and participate in that event. Giving our athletes greater exposure was another overriding concern of our institution. In this regard, we regularly showcase their activities through several media during major events in which our sportsmen and women take part. Examples include Africa in London 2012 or more recently Africa in Rio 2016, which spotlighted the performances of our athletes engaged in these Olympic events in addition to our traditional ANOCA Newsletter, ACNOA Magazine, the website africaolympic.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages in which our athletes are prominently featured.
In Brazzaville, former African athletes who today represent sportsmen and women in the ANOCA athletes’ Commission, were present at the 50th anniversary Games. Benjamin Boukpeti, Amadou Dia Ba and Kady Kanoute Tounkara met with and informed active athletes about a number of issues that can help better the conditions of athletes in the world, notably the ACP athletes’ career monitoring programme, the ENTOURAGE programme, the doping control programme in collaboration with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and the anti-harassment programme.
In the coming years, we should strive more to negotiate objective-based contracts that will help our athletes to bloom in concert with sports Ministries of our countries and our NOCs. If we pool human and financial resources of Ministries and NOCs for the benefit of youths, our actions can only produce more successful and outstanding outcomes.
Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, President of ANOCA