ANOCA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, MARCH 2023

AFRICAN SPORT NEEDS EVEN MORE WOMEN!

International Women’s Day is always an opportunity to put women’s rights on the map the world over. 

This year’s theme, “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” vividly portrays the prevailing situation with regard to respect for gender in all areas of life on the planet. Sport is no exception to this, let alone Olympism, whose values promote inclusion and equality through sports practice.

The digitalisation of sports governance is giving rise to hands-on management, which is taking on significant proportions through the digital economy and digital communication with inclusion as its focus. Sport affords girls and women the opportunity to tenaciously stand for themselves, thanks to technological innovation, and to defend their rights through gender equality.

On the continent, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa has, in its 2020 – 2024 action plan, taken up the mission to make the integration of women in high-performance sports and in sports governance an essential goal.

In our previous message we noted that, in Africa, women and sport give real meaning to life and development. We want to say it once again, and also underscore that the woman is the one who brings humanism and tenderness to sport in terms of emotions and passions.

I hereby pay a glowing tribute to all women who discharge duties at all levels and do encourage all those who plan to bring their own to all African sports projects.

Together, let’s give women greater value, laud their talent and create a fairer world where every woman can develop in the sport of her choice and put her talent at the service of her country.

Many outstanding women have shone the spotlight on African sport; they are real inspirations for talented young girls who aspire to be like them. This is to be encouraged.

Whether as athletes, coaches, officials or administrators, women demonstrate their commitment to the promotion of sport and Olympic values.

They are the pride of Africa’s 54 National Olympic Committees. We are well aware, and do recognise that they are at the forefront of sports successes in Africa.

As such, ANOCA develops many projects aimed at supporting women in the practice of sport in Africa, under the coordination of ANOCA Vice President and Chairlady of the Gender Equality Commission, Matlohang Moiloa Ramoquopo.

The commitment of African governments is also essential to boost women’s performance in sport. They must take up even more responsibilities within sports governing bodies of States and Olympic organisations.

We thank the International Olympic Committee, IOC, for its far-reaching modernity and gender equality programme. Women play an incredible role in our societies. Historically, they are key drivers of youth education and harbingers of messages of peace and solidarity.

By their nature, women are champions of love, and they spread hope for all Nations and our continent Africa, which is moving forward in tranquillity.

Our female athletes are highly awaited at forthcoming competitions like the Paris 2024 Olympic Games that we are meticulously preparing for, and especially during the African Beach Games this year 2023 in Hammamet, Tunisia, as well as the African Games in Ghana in 2024.

Sport is a powerful glue in this dispensation, and the feminine instinct, which is very rarely mistaken, is right in requiring sport to be an instrument of equitable representation of women in governance, where they can truly show their worth.

The recent ANOCA Zone 2 “Women and Sport” seminar organised on 28 and 29 January 2023 in Conakry, Guinea, and which focused on “Promoting gender equality and inclusion in sport” is one of these initiatives that make African women a focal concern.

That is why we urge the African and international sports community, more than ever, to promote unrestrained access by women to the world of sport.

We need even more women in sport in Africa.

Mustapha Berraf

IOC Member

ANOCA President

Holder of the Olympic Order

Holder of the IOC Olympic Order

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