Role of Sports in Africa’s Unity

Published on 31st May 2022

Despite the fact that our continent faces enormous stakes and challenges, it should be noted that it possesses the human and intellectual potential to shape a bright future for itself. Sport is one of the factors that will undoubtedly contribute to Africa’s development.

The African National Olympic Committee's call for peace and unity, must be linked to our shared desire to promote development on the continent.

This call is consistent with our governments’ broader vision of Africa since the formation of the African Union in 2002 from the ashes of the Organisation of African Unity, which was founded in 1963.

Africa must transform in response to the emergence of new political, security, economic, social, and cultural challenges. This is why the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) is dedicated to using sport to promote peace and development.

Sport can help to promote healthy competition among African youth. Our continent will undergo the desired transformation as a result of them.

The ANOCA action plan 2021-2025 prioritizes African youth and development.

Our 50 Olympafrica Centres offer a platform for the dissemination of the Olympic values of solidarity and sharing, the joy of effort and fair play. We are committed to supporting hundreds of young people in refugee camps with the aim of reintegrating them into active life by giving them an opportunity to return to normal life through sport. We have set up a plan to support athletes, who found themselves in difficulty at the height of the health crisis imposed by the terrible Covid-19 pandemic since 2020. We prioritised the construction of sports infrastructure by encouraging the governments of the 54 States to put all their efforts into providing African youth with the necessary comfort to express their prodigious talent. Several African countries have made enormous sacrifices in this regard. We hail and thank them most sincerely.

Africa’s participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China afforded an opportunity to assess all the huge efforts deployed to develop sport and well-being. These will once again be evidenced by our expected outstanding participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Olympic and Sporting Africa is also bracing for the organisation of the 4th African Games in Ghana, the African Youth Games and the 2023 Africa Beach Games in Hammanet, Tunisia. In 2026, the continent will have the distinct honour of hosting the Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal.

All these events contribute in building a world of hope, peace and solidarity, which Africa needs for its development. Sport plays a central role in promoting peace, unity and development.

The African Olympic movement is therefore fully realistic, because the stakes are such that we must unite, come together, combine our efforts, our human, logistical and financial resources. All our efforts must be geared towards youth development, a major challenge for Africa’s future.

Sport appeals to young people, something we must take full advantage of. It is the best school of life that should generate economic, social and human development. It should make our Africa a land of serenity, understanding, love, peace, solidarity and fair play, everything that Olympism holds dear. On the occasion of Africa Day 2022, I wish you all, each and every member of the African Olympic and Sports family, the very best of everything.

By Mustapha Beraff

President of the African National Olympic Committees, ANOCA.

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