With barely ten days to go to the Second African Beach Games in Hammamet, Tunisia, preparations have reached fever pitch.
All is set to welcome more than 1,100 athletes, 500 dignitaries, officials, guardians and technicians from 53 countries to this great celebration of Sport, Culture and Values. A total of 2,000 people are expected to be accredited. According to the Organising Committee, preparations are 85% complete.
From 23 to 30 June 2023, Hammamet will be the hub of African and world sport and Olympism. The presence of the ANOC President, Robin Mitchell, is helping to give a special touch to this event, which also benefits from IOC backing, and above all the organisational impetus lent by ANOCA, which will be represented at the highest level by its President, the Honourable Mustapha Berraf.
The competition will feature a highly colourful cultural and artistic celebration, which will first be displayed at the official opening ceremony in 10 days’ time.
The artist Lofti Bouchnak, a Tunisian and Arab star singer, will be performing alongside a host of renowned African artists.
The city of Hammamet is decked out in its finest, as set out in a statement by the governorate of Nabeul, the host region of the Games. The Minister for Youth and Sport, Kamel Deguiche, underscored that:
“Hosting these Games was a new challenge that required the supervisory Ministry, the NOC and all the parties concerned to harness their efforts; it also required the involvement of the various government departments, in order to make a success of this multi-faceted event, which goes beyond the sports and competitive dimension to include the promotion of Tunisian tourism, the country’s cultural heritage and natural products, as well as its ecological assets.”
Furthermore, according to the Minister:
“The record number of participants in these Games reflects Tunisia’s openness to its African environment and is a response to the wave of attacks targeting our country, casting doubt on our good relations with other countries on the continent.“
For ANOCA President, the Honourable Mustapha Berraf:
“In 10 days’ time, we will together be opening one of the most unprecedented competitions in the history of African sport and Olympism.”
ANOCA will also be holding two important meetings on the sidelines of this event: the Executive Committee meeting and, above all, an Ordinary General Assembly. The two events will focus mainly on the historic consensus on the organisation’s Constitution and Code of Ethics, which was adopted in 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ANOCA will also be promoting consensus which, according to the Honourable Mustapha Berraf, “is currently the best mode of governance within the African Olympic movement.”
A serene atmosphere is currently reigning within the African Olympic and sports movement and the General Assembly will meet as it has done these 42 years following the establishment of ANOCA.
On the subject of the institution’s traditional General Assemblies, the President of ANOCA said:
“The session of a General Assembly is undeniably an opportunity for any institution to look back and question its past and future activities. I call for unity to ensure that our participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be the greatest success we have ever recorded. My hope is that we will all join forces and mobilise in an unprecedented way to ensure that Paris 2024 is a memorable success, bringing peace of mind to the athletes and their entourage. The organising committee of the Paris 2024 Games says that young people are at the heart of the project. We are saying here that African youths must be at the heart of this vision, and it starts with Yasmine Hammamet.”
It is in this spirit that the 2nd African Beach Games in Hammamet will be one of the finest platforms for the fusion of sport, Olympism and good governance in African sport. In 10 days’ time, the proof will be in the pudding.