After participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where our medal haul dropped in relation to previous editions, notably Beijing 2008, we drew lessons and decided, together, to weather the storm with courage, and with a cool head plan the preparation of athletes of the Continent more meticulously for the Games of the 31st Olympiad in Rio. It is in this regard that on 10 and 11 April 2013, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in partnership with NOC Côte d’Ivoire (CNO CIV), we organised a forum on Africa’s preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. On that occasion, experts invited by the African Olympic Movement brainstormed the theme: “Africa’s preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.” That gathering concluded with a number of strategic recommendations to the various NOCs and sports ministries, with the aim of charting the best possible course to fully prepare our athletes for the quadrennial event. The ensuing success was patent proof that the meeting contributed significantly. In Rio, Africa staged its best Olympic performance ever, with 45 medals, beating the record it set in Beijing 2008, where the medal haul stood at 40. Already, in the build up to the games, ANOCA had set up an ad hoc Committee to ensure a coordinated preparation of all athletes qualified for the event and endowed it with substantial funds.
Moreover, we are particularly pleased that as from that first meeting in Abidjan, ANOCA member NOCs took full advantage of programmes funded by Olympic Solidarity, thanks to their mastery of administrative and financial procedures involved. On the whole, as from 2013, 3012 individual projects were executed with funds from this strategic partner in various areas including capacity building for athletes and coaches.
Dear readers, it is on the strength of this that we deem it necessary, at this dawn of the 2017-2020 Olympiad, to organise a 2nd forum with the same agenda in Abidjan on 20 and 21 April this year. We are targeting ambitious, yet realistic goals aimed at further enhancing the preparations and participation of sporting Africa in the Tokyo games, notably: building on the success of Rio 2016 and setting a new record of medals won by Africa at the Olympics; building a stronger foundation for athletes to be better taken care of and for rational planning of training ahead of the Olympics; carefully structuring and programming the preparation of athletes to make them more competitive; sourcing necessary funds to increase the budget allocated for training of athletes and thus ensuring quality preparation; seeking the most efficient solutions to effectively and efficiently determine the necessary resources for better management and monitoring of athletes at the games Village. In its implementation phase, the 2nd Abidjan Forum looks forward to discussing a number of issues, notably analysing: the influence of Olympic Solidarity investments on African athletes in Rio 2016; Africa’s output in Rio 2016 ; Africa’s goals and ambitions for the 2020 OG in Tokyo; training programmes for Tokyo 2020; priorities for a winning strategy in Tokyo 2020 …
The 2nd Abidjan Forum of 20 and 21 April should, moreover, demonstrate Africa’s solidarity, and portray a united Africa with a vision that seeks to ensure a coordinated preparation, the best possible, for our continent ahead of the Tokyo games in 2020. Such a preparation will also entail pooling together human and financial resources of all stakeholders of the African Olympic and Sports Movement and thus undertake more far-reaching and effective actions to prepare our athletes for Tokyo 2020.
Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, President of ANOCA