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July - August 2013

SpĂŠcial Abidjan 2013

President’s message 2013-2016 Olympiad: dawn of a new era!

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n 12 and 13 July 2013, Abidjan, played host to deliberations of the 15th General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). It was an elective session, during which representatives of the 52 continental NOCs present chose the administrators of the supreme governing body of the African Olympic Movement for the 2013-2016 quadrennial. Some postulants were elected, while others were not. Such is the hard verdict of elections. Yet, incidentally, I am pleased with the polls on two scores. First and foremost, because the newly-elected Executive Committee officials are men and women who are capable of giving fresh impetus to ANOCA actions! They are highly experienced Africans who, in their various countries, have always served sport and Olympism with devotion and loyalty. Secondly, I was pleased with the spirit that prevailed during the elections. Despite the divergent points of view and programmes proposed by the candidates, the mindset, I should say the philosophy of Olympism took precedence over egocentric interests. The losers conceded defeat and congratulated their opponents in a dignified manner. In Abidjan, during the elections, the Olympic world witnessed how the intrinsic values of Olympism were highlighted: knowledge, which has to do with the discovery of our possibilities and limits; the spirit of competition, which aims at measuring our skills with others; excellence, which has to do with giving our very best and fair play, which warrants respect for opponents.


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The warm embraces between losers and winners bear testimony to the fact that postulants had a good grasp of the values of Olympism in the supreme interest of African sport. The candidates were well aware that the African sporting and Olympic Movement is not there to serve its leaders, but is at the service of our continent’s youths. The youths must remain the focal concern of our Association. Instead of inducing us to lie on our laurels, these positive notes should spur us on to work during the Olympiad just beginning: the challenges are legion, and they will be our main focus during the 2013-2016 quadrennial. We must all rise to them to bring the continental sporting and Olympic Movement to limelight. I have had occasion to say that this new tenure will focus on “Consolidating achievements.” We should thus, through synergy of action, assert the vitality of African Olympism. As I have already said, the challenges are legion but I will, among others, mention partnerships concluded with foreign bodies like the Russia and US Olympic Committees; consolidation of ties with our traditional partners: IOC, Olympic Solidarity, ANOC, WADA, AU…; the extension of the Olympafrica programme which must spread out to all countries of the continent; the African Youth Games and the effective organisation of the second edition billed for 2014 in Botswana; full participation by Africa in various Olympic Games, notably the Youth Olympic Games scheduled for 2014, Rio de Janeiro 2016, where the obligation will be to perform better than in London 2012. Other challenges include: the review of our statutory instruments, which we began during the Olympiad just ending, consolidating our representation within world Olympic structures, training of trainers, seeking appropriate solutions to the massive exodus of our athletes… Consolidating relations between our NOCs and Governments must also be a priority of this Olympiad. The relations shall be strengthened by formulating workable strategies to better fund sport in our respective countries. It goes without saying that without funds, there will be no infrastructure, no training, and no equipment. These are some of the challenges, among many others, that we must together rise to: the future of our sports and Olympic Movement hinges on that!

Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, President of ANOCA


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Special ANOCA General Assembly 2013 Abidjan plays host to deliberations of the 15th ANOCA General Assembly

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elegates from 52 National Olympic Committees converged on Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 12 and 13 July 2013 for the 15th ANOCA ordinary General Assembly. The venue was Hôtel Ivoire, and the session not only marked the end of the 2009-2012 quadrennial, but also the beginning of the 2013-2016 quadrennial. After the opening ceremony, delegates tackled the agenda that featured the following items: adoption of minutes of the 14th ordinary General Assembly held on 3 and 4 September 2011 in Maputo; policy message of the President of ANOCA, Intendant General Lassana Palenfo; the Executive Committee Report/Balance Sheet presented by the Secretary-General, Khaled Zein Eldin and the Report by the Treasurer General, Habu Gumel. This was followed by a scrutiny and adoption of the Audit Reports for 2011 and 2012 presented by the auditing firm Price Waterhouse, whose mandate was also renewed. This gave room for elections, during which new blood was injected into the Executive Committee of the Association, followed by messages from partner organisations and institutions. This was notably the case with ANOC, a message that was delivered by the Secretary-General, Gunilla Lindberg, and CONFEJES, whose Secretary-General, Youssouf Fall, said he was pleased to be part of the event. The following functional commissions also presented their reports: the Athletes’ Commission with Dia Ba, the Women and Sport Commission with its Chairperson, Beatrice Allen, and the Sport and Environment Commission with Gideon Sam. Special messages were also delivered by Botswana 2014, Olympic Solidarity, Olympafrica, Rio 2016, the 2nd Youth Olympic Games and WADA. Brazzaville, Congo, will host the 16th ANOCA ordinary General Assembly in 2015.


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Lassana Palenfo gets another term at helm of ANOCA

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he incumbent President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, was on 12 July 2013 elected for another four-year term during the 15th ordinary General Assembly of the body which took place in Hôtel Ivoire, Abidjan. It was thus no surprise that as the sole candidate in the run, Lassana Palenfo was unanimously voted by delegates of the 52 African NOCs present in Abidjan. “Olympic Africa must reoccupy its place, its proper place. Our continent is a real breeding ground for budding champions! We should all contribute in helping these youths to emerge, for they are the men and women who will fly our continent’s colours in future,” the ANOCA President insisted. He further observed that the quadrennial agenda shall also include the culture of peace, and that ANOCA will strive to optimise the impact of sport, factor of reconciliation, through partnerships with UN organisations, CONFEJES and governments. On his part, the Ivorian Head of state, Alassane Ouattara, who received in audience an ANOCA delegation, also expressed satisfaction with the re-election of Intendant General Lassana Palenfo. Palenfo has been at the helm of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa since 2005. It is under his stewardship that the governing body of the African Olympic Movement launched its programme for the introduction sports events with a continental scope. Such is the case with zone games in 2006 and the African Youth Games, the maiden edition of which was celebrated from 13 to 18 July 2010 in Rabat, Morocco.


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Thomas Amos Ganda Sithole is new ANOCA Secretary-General

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homas Amos Ganda Sithole (Zimbabwe) is the new ANOCA Secretary-General, following elections into the ANOCA Executive Committee, which took place on 12 July in Abidjan. The newly elected SG, who takes over from Khaled Zein Eldin (Egypt), is also IOC Director for Development and Cooperation. He is an old broom in the house, as he had previously served the association in the same capacity from 1997 to 2002, before moving on to the IOC.

New ANOCA Executive Committee elected The 15th ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA, an elective session, took place on 12 and 13 July 2013 in Abidjan, pursuant to clause 8.3 of the Association’s Constitution and the resolutions of the 14th ordinary General Assembly held in Maputo on 3 and 4 September 2011. The session thus elected the members of the ANOCA Executive Committee for the 2013-2016 quadrennial and ratified the election of representatives of the various ANOCA development zones within the Executive Committee. The elections were conducted by three household names in African sport, namely Kip Keino, Frankie Fredericks and Beatrice Allen. The following were thus elected :


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ANOCA Executive Committee 2009 - 2016

Intendant General Lassana Palenfo President

Mustapha Berraf 1st Vice President

Joao Afonso Da Costa Alegre Manuel 2nd Vice President

Ha Shun Hao Thyn Voon Philippe 3rd Vice President

Matlohang MOILOA-RAMOQOPO 4th Vice President

Tomas AmosGanda Sithole Secretary-General

Habu Ahmed Gumel Treasurer General


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ANOCA Executive Committee 2009 - 2016

Habib Sissoko Representative Zone 2

Boussayene Mehrez Representative Zone 1

Philibert S.BROWNE Representative Zone 3

Representative Zone 4

Robert ZOMBODZE MAGAGULA Representative Zone 6

Mohamed Abdel Halim Representative Zone 5

Said Ali Houssein Representative Zone 7


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Traditional accolades for Jacques Rogge and Lassana Palenfo

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uring the opening ceremony of the 15th ordinary General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, ANOCA, on 12 July 2013 in Abidjan, the Presidents of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, and ANOCA, Lassana Palenfo, were honoured by the Blockaus traditional Chiefdom of Côte d’Ivoire. Dr Jacques Rogge was crowned honorary chief of the Atchan people and will henceforth bear the name Nana Abutcha II. On his part, President Palenfo received a fabric in recognition of his prowess in the stewardship of the African Olympic Movement.


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ANOCA General Assembly : a heavily attended opening ceremony

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he opening ceremony of the 15th ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA took place on 12 July 2013 at Hôtel Ivoire, downtown Abidjan. A series of addresses were delivered on this occasion, beginning with the 1st Vice President of NOC Côte d’Ivoire, Professor Alain Ekra who, addressing the delegates present, underscored that Abidjan was very happy to host the entire African Olympic family and IOC and ANOC officials. Then, turning to the IOC President, he said: “Your presence in Côte d’Ivoire is a first” Following in his heels was Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, in his capacity as ANOCA President. He began by highlighting the symbolic nature of the event: “Abidjan, which was the scene of upheavals in recent times, is pleased to welcome you in newfound peace,” he insisted. He especially recognised the IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge, and ANOC President H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah who, he said, honoured sporting Africa with their presence. Then, turning to the representatives of African NOCs present, the President of ANOCA said: “We are gathered here today so that we can together think up a novel and ambitious sports policy for the next four years meant for those who represent the Africa of tomorrow. The next four years shall be years of action, the implementation of projects, and the absolute need, in terms of the Olympic medal haul, to perform better than we did in London.”….. As for the way forward, General Palenfo did not mince words: “Our athletes’ commission shows us the way forward for the future, which should enable us perform better in Rio de Janeiro: together, with you all, NOCs of Africa, we should map out winning strategies for talent identification, groom champions by granting more means to enhance performance, conceive better training programmes and organise sports competitions to produce a quality elite for major world sporting and Olympic events.”


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ANOC President, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah on his part thanked the Ivorian government for its solicitude, while IOC President, Dr Jacques Rogge declared that he was pleased to address the Olympic family from Africa. He congratulated President Palenfo on his outstanding stewardship, insisting that he was convinced ANOCA will keep playing a frontline role in sports development in Africa. The Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, who personally represented the Head of State, Alassane Ouattara, said his country’s government was pleased with the decision taken by delegates to organise such an important meeting in Côte d’Ivoire. Before declaring open deliberations of the 15th ANOCA General Assembly, he paid a glowing tribute to President Palenfo: The presence in this hall of the cream of world sport confirms the opinion the people of Côte d’Ivoire have of you: A man of probity and conviction, open-minded and competent...,” before insisting that: “Africa should no longer be trailing behind during major sports events. We have the wherewithal: men, women and resources to rise to the challenge of grooming champions in all sports disciplines...” Suffice it to note that some 250 dignitaries graced the opening ceremony, notably IOC officials, representatives of 52 NOCs of the continent, host cities or cities bidding to host various games and Ivorian government officials.


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Ivorian Government decorates sports dignitaries

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he government of Côte d’Ivoire recently decorated a host of officials of the world of sport and Olympism during the ANOCA General Assembly in Abidjan. The medals, in recognition of the efforts made by the recipients in the promotion of sport and Olympism in Africa, were handed by Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, personal representative of the Head of State, Alassane Ouattara. Dr Jacques Rogge was raised to the rank of Grand Officer of the National Order, while ANOC President, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al-Sabah, was made Commander of the National Order. The President of the IAAF on his part received the medal of Officer of the National Order, just like Nawal El Moutawakel, Vice President of the IOC, and the President of the International Handball Federation, Dr Hassan Moustapha. IOC member, Sam Ramsamy, and Fekrou Kidane were both made Knights of the National Order. A host of other dignitaries were also decorated, which medals were handed to them by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Alain Lobognon. These included : Khaled Zein Eldin, Secretary-General of ANOCA; Aremou Mansourou, President of the Confederation of African Handball; Habib Sissoko, President of NOC Mali; Julien Minoava, President of NOC Benin; Doctor Rania Elwani, Béatrice Allen, Kipchoge Keino and Gilbert Gresenguet.


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Ivorian Government decorates sports dignitaries

IOC accolade for Mustapha Berraf

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he President of NOC Algeria and 1st Vice President of ANOCA, Mustapha Berraf, recently received the Order of the International Olympic Committee from the IOC President, Dr Jacques Rogge. Beraf, whose contribution to the development of sports practice on the continent cannot be overemphasised, was thus recognised for all his services to sport and Olympism in Africa. He said he was pleased to receive such a distinction from the President of the IOC himself.


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ANOCA recognises several sports dignitaries

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ôtel Ivoire, Abidjan, was the venue of a medal award ceremony organised by ANOCA on 12 July 2013, during which several sports dignitaries were honoured. The event was in two phases, beginning with the opening ceremony, during which the President of ANOC, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al-Sabah, received the ANOCA Prize of Merit. The second phase was during the dinner offered delegates to the 15th ANOCA General Assembly, during which the following officials were honoured: Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary-General; Mustapha Larfaoui, former AASC and FINA President; Pere Miro, Director of Olympic Solidarity and Youssouf Fall, Secretary-General of CONFEJES. While encouraging the recipients, President Palenfo told them that they have “always contributed in spotlighting Olympism in Africa.”


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42nd ANOCA Executive Committee Session : Lassana Palenfo’s clarion call for Unity and Solidarity

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he 42nd ordinary session of the ANOCA Executive Committee took place on 10 July 2013 at the Balafon Hall of Hôtel Ivoire, Abidjan, the last for the 2009-2013 quadrennial. In his message delivered on the occasion, President Palenfo reminded members present of the commitment taken in 2009 at the beginning of the Olympiad just ending. They had undertaken, before representatives of African NOCs, to “steer the course of the Association by helping it to achieve its goals and the missions with which it is entrusted.” Besides, he pointed out that ANOCA adopted an action plan in September 2009 in Abuja, to concretise the promises. In this regard, the President of ANOCA asserted that despite the numerous hurdles, « ANOCA fares better than it did some years ago…We can say, without fear of contradiction, that ANOCA has, four years on, made much progress.” He did not hesitate to highlight the context in which they were meeting, prior to the 15th ordinary session of the General Assembly of the supreme governing body of the African Olympic Movement. Talking about ANOCA projects, Lassana Palenfo cited amongst others: the 2nd edition of the African Youth Games billed for Botswana in 2014, the restructuring of the administrative services of the Association, follow up of agreements between ANOCA and various partners, adoption of the reviewed constitution and Africa’s preparations for the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro…. The President then requested stakeholders of the African Olympic Movement to cultivate unity and solidarity in the face of major challenges. In this regard, he insisted : “I am aware that we still have a long way to go, but not worried as to our capacity to forge ahead, as long as each and every one of us shall continue to play the role incumbent on them, guided by the spirit of unity, respect and solidarity!” The 43rd session of the ANOCA Executive Committee is billed for October 2013 in Kigali, Rwanda.


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ANOCA signs cooperation agreement with NOC

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he Nigeria Olympic Committee and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, ANOCA, signed a cooperation agreement in Abidjan on 13 July 2013. The venue was Hôtel Ivoire, and the agreement was signed by ANOCA President, General Lassana Palenfo and NOC President Mr Sani Ndanusa, both representing the respective bodies they head. The agreement, which aims at fostering understanding and the common interests of the parties in the spirit of friendship and mutual respect, also targets the following goals: Promoting Olympism and Olympic Education in Nigeria through relevant projects and activities initiated by the NOC and backed by ANOCA; Promoting the sports for all initiative; sharing good practices and technical expertise in major events management; promoting the development of athletes and trainers through special programmes at sports training centres‌. Both parties shall, following the signing of the agreement, cooperate in fostering the Olympic Movement in Africa, hold regular consultations on major issues and implement projects and programmes that will take Nigerian sport to the next level. It shall run from 13 July 2013 to 31 December 2016.

ANOCA delegation received at the State House, Abidjan


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he Ivorian Head of State, Alassane Ouattara, on 13 July 2013 granted audience to a powerful ANOCA delegation and high level sports dignitaries at the presidential mansion in the Plateau neighbourhood, Abidjan. Apart from the Presidents of ANOCA, Lassana Palenfo, and the IOC, Dr Jacques Rogge, the following other dignitaries were also part of the delegation : Mr. Youssouf Fall, Secretary-General CONFEJES, Mr Thomas Bach and Mrs Nawal El Mutawakel, both of them IOC Vice Presidents, Mrs Anita L. Defrantz, Chairlady of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, Mrs Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary-General, Mr Sam Ramsamy, President of the Confederation of African Swimming and IOC member, Mr Ching-kuo Wu, President of the International Boxing Association, Mr Mustapha Beraf, 1st Vice President ANOCA, Mr Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations and Dr Hassan Moustapha, President of the International Handball Federation. IOC members in Africa, together with Messrs Fekrou Kidane and Tsunekazu Takeda were also part of the delegation. In his message delivered on the occasion, the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire said he was honoured that his country was hosting all those who made it to Abidjan for the ANOCA General Assembly, also noting that he was pleased by the re-election of his fellow countryman, Lassana Palenfo, at the helm of the coordinating body of the African Olympic Movement. On his part, IOC President, Dr Jacques Rogge, said he was elated with the activities of the African sporting movement under the stewardship of General Palenfo. On this occasion, the Ivorian President was awarded the ANOCA Order of Merit in gold, the highest distinction of the institution. He also received an IOC commemorative plaque from the IOC President.


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Lydia N’sekera (President of the Burundi Football Federation, the first and only woman in the FIFA Executive Committee) Women’s football is forging ahead Over a century, precisely 108 years after the establishment of FIFA, and 15 years following the introduction of women’s football at world level, FIFA for the first time elected a woman as Executive Committee member. Prior to the 15th ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA in Abidjan last July 12 and 13, we had a chat with that passionate lover of football, Lydia N’sekera, President of the Burundi Football Federation. She shared with us her vision on football in general and women’s football in particular. Excerpts! What explains your presence in Côte d’Ivoire ? JI am in Côte d’Ivoire for the ANOCA General Assembly. As President of the Burundi Football Federation, I could for no reason whatsoever miss this come together of African sport leaders. What were the major highlights of this GA ? The main feature was the election of the President of ANOCA. On that score, the incumbent, President Palenfo, sole candidate in the run, was re-elected by his African peers. Observers of world sport have been quick to point out that such unanimity demonstrates the solidarity amongst African sports administrators. Thereafter, we discussed a wide range of issues: women and sport, the environment, exodus of African athletes and a host of other sport development issues in Africa. Talking about women and sport, did you, as a woman, find this theme relevant ? Let me tell you, this theme is so important that the governing bodies of various world sport represented during this assembly urged African leaders to associate more women in sports management at continental level. Of course, during this meeting, ANOCA elected a woman as 4th Vice President. One cannot talk about you without mentioning your outstanding election into the FIFA Executive Committee ! Absolutely! I was first co-opted by members of the FIFA Executive Committee in the Mauritius Island in 2002; on 31 May 2013, I was elected out of four women postulants. What do you hope to bring to women’s football as a FIFA Executive Committee member ? 108 years after the establishment of FIFA, and at a time when we are gearing up to celebrate 15 years of women’s football, it should be acknowledged that football is making progress in the world and on the continent. My role at FIFA will be to work alongside the other members to advocate the election of women at club level and raise awareness on the practice of football. Women’s football has made strides on the continent and in the world. The last world cup in Germany is patent proof of this. How is football faring in Burundi today ? After more than 15 years of war, which tore Burundi apart, we can say that all is well, judging from our successive ranks on the FIFA rankings since 1993, when sports activities resumed.


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Nawal El Moutawakel Nawal El Moutawakel, you are the first Arab, African and Muslim woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics. That was at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Today, you are a frontline advocate of women’s inclusion in international sports governing bodies. Is this not a delicate mission? I will continue struggling and militating to assert women’s and youth rights. I am committed to a struggle, the fight against doping and illegal betting. As Vice President of the International Olympic Committee and the IAAF, these are my priorities. Of course, I have a soft spot for anything that touches on women, because the world cannot forge ahead without its other half, the woman; that is why we need solid bases in the first place. We need to pump in more money, offer more training and do more prospection. The woman is the future. Respect for her, just like for men, is a fundamental right. Conventions have been signed by all governments of the world. I insist, with much joy, that the 2012 Olympic Games in London were a wonderful example for the entire world. The last three nations, where women never featured, finally thought it wise to include women in their delegations. These were Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Sultanate of Brunei. We can today pride ourselves on the fact that all countries that took part in the London Olympics had at least one woman in their delegation: one participant and one flag bearer in the 26 sports disciplines that were on schedule. I am also pleased, that within the IOC Executive Committee with just 15 members, three of them are women (editor’s note: Claudia Bokel of Germany, Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden and, of course, our own Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco). It is a first in the annals of the Olympic Movement. And out of the 204 Olympic Committees that participated in the Olympic Games, the women’s ratio was higher than the men’s. This was the case with the US, German and Russian delegations. We are moving on, step by step! I still believe strongly that women are the future of sport. FIFA made this clear some years back. I still have that firm belief. In Africa, it is a matter for us Journalists, Administrators, Sportsmen and women, Ministers, decision makers, to keep believing in women. We should think of giving young women the opportunity to represent their nations as best they can in all world events.

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