Hangzhou, China: ANOCA President, the Honourable Mustapha BERRAF, recently led a high-level delegation on a mission to China. He was responding to an invitation from the Minister of Sport and President of the Chinese National Olympic Committee, Gao ZHIDAN, during the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou (23 September to 8 October 2023).
The visit aimed to further deepen multilateral ties between Africa and China through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Honourable Mustapha BERRAF was accompanied by ANOCA First Vice President Joao Da Costa Alegre AFONSO, ANOCA Second Vice President Matlohang MOILOA-RAMOQOPO and ANOCA Athletes Commission Chair, Gaby AHRENS.
The Chinese delegation, led by the Minister of Sport and President of the National Olympic Committee, Gao ZHIDAN, was made up of the Vice President of the NOC and IOC member, as well as a number of senior officials from the People’s Republic of China. The Honourable Mustapha BERRAF:
“This is a new era of cooperation and exchange between our two communities, opening wide the doors to new visions for a future of solidarity and mutual respect. This Memorandum of Understanding also charts the path for hope and socio-economic unity between our peoples, which will enable meaningful and genuine growth through Olympism and Sport towards modernity and development”.
Bearing the voice of the Chinese counterparts, the Minister for Sport and NOC President, Gao ZHIDAN, paid a glowing tribute to Africa and its representatives, even as he undertook to make every effort to bring this strategic and mutually beneficial cooperation to fruition in the spirit of the Olympic values so cherished by our communities. He emphasised the importance of this historic agreement for China and the interest shown by the highest authorities in the African continent.
In response, the ANOCA President implored the Chinese Sports Minister to convey to His Excellency, the President of the People’s Republic of China, “the deep feelings of gratitude of the entire African Olympic and Sports Movement and the expression of our utmost respect”.
The Honourable Mustapha BERRAF attended the official opening ceremony of the Pan-Asian Games on 23 September 2023. The Games bring together 12,000 athletes from 45 countries and territories in Asia and the Middle East, competing in 40 sports disciplines.