ANOCA President’s Special Message – December 2023

At the dawn of a new year, and as is his tradition, ANOCA President, Mustapha Berraf, looks back on the year 2022 and extends his best wishes to all members of the great continental Olympic and Sports family.  In this message, he once again articulates his vision for the year just ending and the way forward for 2023.

Dear friends of the great African Olympic and sporting family,

As 2022 draws to a close, I am deeply delighted to bring to you this message of friendship and fraternity.

I wish to share with you my feelings at the end of these twelve months, a period marked by hectic sporting and Olympic activity within our wonderful family. It was a year of fascinating and decisive moments in the life of the Olympic and Sports Movement on our continent. I lived those moments in your company with great pleasure, defining moments that showcased the glory and success of our actions that positively impacted African youths. Despite their difficulties, youths of Africa have always been keen to display their full potential, and our activities have mainly focused on addressing their concerns.

The African Olympic and Sports Movement was quite active in various fields in 2022; many of these activities were initiated by our association, while others were external.

We developed strategies that were necessary to build a dignified and respected African Olympic and Sports Movement. Our noble mission has been to be at the service of our continent’s youth. We also sought to chart a way forward for the implementation of our ambitious strategic development plan adopted for the 2021-2024 Olympiad. ANOCA was quite active in the fields of training of sports leaders and development of NOC administration. The organisation of strategic meetings and the seminar for Secretaries General of African NOCs is part of our drive to harmonise governance of Olympic structures of the Continent. However, beyond this purely institutional agenda, ANOCA brainstormed appropriate strategies aimed at strengthening the impact of sport in continental youth development. As part of this strategic vision, the development of the Olympafrica programme enables many young people across the continent to practise their favourite sport and engage in other activities. In 2022, Olympafrica spread to more countries, thus raising more hopes with innovative projects that are being materialised in its various centres.

Dear friends of the great African Olympic and sporting family,

We will spare no effort to fully prepare Africa for major international sporting events and, as such, after the Tokyo Olympic Games, we took the full measure of the challenge posed by Paris 2024. The $2,000,000 Paris 2024 athlete support programme budget, like those of previous editions, has already proven and will continue to prove it is worth its while.

Besides, ANOCA has rolled out its historic project to build new NOC headquarters. The foundation stone of the first building was laid in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on the sidelines of the 39th Seminar for Secretaries General of African NOCs.

I hail the dynamism and the important work done by our commissions, most of which give reason to be optimistic for this quadrennial.

As far as cooperation is concerned, several agreements were concluded and signed in a bid to diversify our partnerships.

Communication has also been a major focus of our actions. There is improved information flow between our continental association and member NOCs thanks to our media.

Dear friends of the great African Olympic and sports family,

The influence of African sport also and above all depends on the achievements of our athletes on the international scene. To this end, I hail all the worthy daughters and sons of the Continent who, throughout this year, represented Africa at various major sporting events. I particularly congratulate the athletes who took part in the Eugene World Championships and who showcased our continent. In the same vein, I salute the Moroccan national football team which, through its performance at the recent World Cup in Qatar, upset the sporting order in this discipline by reaching the semi-finals, a first for an African country.

Dear friends of the great African Olympic and sporting family,

In 2023, the major sporting event in Africa will be the fourth edition of the African Youth Games, which will bring together Africa’s sporting youth to celebrate Olympic values in the spirit of excellence, solidarity and respect.

This event, scheduled to take place in Brazzaville, Congo, should be a great success both in terms of organisation and participation. We will have to confirm to the world our ambition to ensure a promising future for continental sport. The message of these Games must be clear for our youth: “To inspire and make a generation to smile.”

The African Beach Games in Tunisia will also be an opportunity to jointly celebrate African youth in 2023.

Outside the continent, the participation of Africa in major sporting events to be organised this year across the world will also challenge us. Our continent will have to be very present in great numbers, and perform well to earn respect and get exposure.

This is why we are clamouring for the enhancement of living together. We will also continue to implement our strategic development plan launched since the beginning of this quadrennial. We will continue to brace for Paris 2024 in a serene and efficient manner for our continent to put up a good show at that event.

In 2023, we will be exactly three years away from the Dakar 2026 Games. We will then have to speed up our preparations for the organisation of this great world youth jamboree in order to portray an even more positive image of our dear Africa.

Dear friends of the great African Olympic and sports family,

 I stand, on behalf of ANOCA, to express the wish that our athletes, our 54 member NOCs and the entire African Olympic family should pursue and develop their dreams in 2023 in keeping with Olympic values.

I wish, at this juncture, to pay tribute to all ANOCA Executive Committee members. Your lifelong commitment expresses our will to build a better world and a better Africa through sport.

We cannot thank enough and in the warmest possible way IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach, for his constant support to African sport. Our thanks also go to ANOC, Olympic Solidarity and all our partners.

We owe much respect, gratitude and recognition to all International Federation Presidents for all the voluntary actions that do the African Olympic and Sports Movement proud, and strengthen the historical partnership ties between the International Federations and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.

ANOCA thanks you!

I once more extend to all of you my best wishes for the year 2023. May it bring us health, prosperity, long life and, above all, success in all our endeavours and activities that contribute in showcasing the African Sports and Olympic Movement.

Happy New Year 2023!  

Mustapha Berraf,

IOC Member,

ANOCA President

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