- Dear ANOCA President, my dear friend and colleague, Mustapha Berraf,
- Dear President of NOC Tunisia, Mehrez Boussayene,
- Dear friends and colleagues, IOC members,
- Dear delegates,
I am always deeply delighted to address the African Olympic community. Africa really plays a significant role in the international sports arena. Your General Assembly will afford an opportunity to consolidate this role and reassert the unity of your community.
I would like to thank NOC Tunisia for organising this General Assembly in Yasmine Hammamet, on the sidelines of the 2nd African Beach Games, which I am certain will be a great success. My congratulations also go to ANOCA and NOC Tunisia for the great initiative to celebrate Olympic Day with all the NOCs here present. Nothing can better symbolise Africa’s unity in its mission to continue the work of our founder, Pierre de Coubertin: to build a better world through sport.
As we go through these difficult times with the rising spate of conflicts, divisions and wars, we need the power of sport and its values of solidarity and unity more than ever.
Your General Assembly is holding barely a year from the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Preparations for these Games will be at the centre of your deliberations. Over the next few months, your athletes will be focusing on qualifying for the Games. All of us – the NOCs, ANOCA, the IOC and the entire Olympic community – need to support them so that they can give us the very best of themselves.
Africa should have a strong and an excellent delegation at these Games to do even better than in Tokyo. Good performance in Paris will also be a source of motivation and inspiration for all the young people of Africa ahead of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026, the first-ever Olympic event in your wonderful continent. That is why I would like to encourage you to continue creating the most enabling conditions for training and also for competition on the African continent.
The African Beach Games that will kick off tomorrow are a wonderful opportunity for your athletes to prepare for the event, and to improve their performances by pitting their talents against each other. The Games also afford an opportunity for the African continent to demonstrate its organisational ability during major sports events.
I wish, therefore, to congratulate all of you at ANOCA, under the able leadership of your President, my dear friend Mustapha Berraf. Thank you all for the great work you do, day in, day out, to support athletes and promote sport and its values across Africa.
The partnership between Africa and the IOC perfectly illustrates our new Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together!
In this Olympic spirit, I wish you the best of deliberations and a successful General Assembly. See you soon!