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The 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games will take place in Dakar, Senegal, the first country on the African continent to be awarded the honour of hosting an Olympic sports event. The Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 represent a catalyst for a sporting, social, cultural, educational and economic transformation that will create new hope, opportunities and confidence for young people.

Dakar 2026 is born out of the desire to take the Youth Olympic Games to all parts of the world and to put the Games at the heart of Africa’s transformation. Senegal’s sporting culture and practice is rooted in history and in the population, especially young people. It aims to be synonymous with symbiosis, exchange, joy and pride, but also humility for young people worldwide, in Africa and Senegal. Sport is meant to be a celebration, a way of living together, a factor for peace, rapprochement and social cohesion.


In a decision approved during the 136th Session of the IOC on 17 July 2020, Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Dakar from 2022 to 2026.

The postponement of Dakar 2026 allows the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Federations (IFs) to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, by the subsequent postponements of major international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis. Link to the official announcement here.

Dakar 2026 envisions the Games as a springboard to put Senegal and by ricochet all of Africa on the international stage. It will showcase the culture, traditions and values of the country, that its people are determined, ambitious, and emerging with confidence.  

Senegal has youth at its centre: the average age is 18 and of the 15 million people, nearly half are under the age of 15. Young people are the agents of change, the building blocks of the future. That is why the Youth Olympic Games are viewed as the impetus to put young people at the forefront of real transformation – promoting economic and social development in alignment with human rights, environmental sustainability, national pride, unity, peace, tolerance and inclusion.

Dakar 2026 will give young people the chance to embrace and contribute to the successful hosting of a global event, instilling a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that will endure for years to come. It will be organised in the spirit of “Teranga’’ – Senegal’s distinct brand of hospitality and respect. It will be the Games of cultural exchange and discovery that open Africa to the world and the world to Africa, with art, music and culture at the heart of the Games.


The vision of Dakar 2026 reflects the choice to build on the Youth Olympic Games as a catalyst for the transformation of Senegal and the African continent, both economically and socially through the mobilisation of young people. Its impact will help to better establish the Olympic values, support the emergence of Senegal and inspire the transformation of Africa.

It is combined with the increasingly clear affirmation of a resolute option for economic and social emergence and thus carries the seeds for a positive influence in the process of transformation at economic, social, cultural and environmental levels in Senegal.

“Dakar 2026, youth and sport united to contribute to the transformation of Senegal, and a source of inspiration for Africa”


Our mission is to deliver safe, secure and festive Games that feature the world’s best young athletes competing in popular and inclusive sports in a spirit of excellence, friendship and respect. 

Dakar 2026 aims to be transformative Games that will serve as a catalyst for capacity-building for young people and for the development of sport in Senegal and Africa. It will create hope, open doors and generate opportunities for youth, in due respect of human rights.

 The key elements of Dakar 2026 mission are: 

  • Gather together, in a safe environment, the best young athletes around sporting, popular, inclusive and festive Games that value Excellence, Friendship and Respect  
  • Strengthen the image of Senegal in the world through sport, art and culture  
  • Contribute to economic emergence, social development, and preservation of the environmental in, Senegal and Africa 
  • Promote the culture of volunteering through the involvement of young people in the Games organisation and in sharing and discovering African cultures and the world
  • Contribute to educating Senegalese, African and global youth on sustainable development and citizenship 

Dakar 2026 has set several goals that go beyond the competitive dimension of sport. They encompass the organisational, economic, eco-citizen, cultural and symbolic aspirations which sport, at large, has the capacity to fulfil. 

The key messages for Dakar 2026 objectives are: 

  • Ensure the availability of and improve access to quality sports infrastructure in the tradition of Senegalese “Teranga” (loosely meaning “hospitality” in Wolof, it also refers to respect, community, sharing and solidarity) for young people and local residents
  • Achieve exemplary sporting results while respecting the values of Olympism
  • Make the Games a social and economic stimulus 
  • Place the eco-citizenship issues at the heart of the Games 
  • Promote African culture and art by valuing local players 
  • Contribute to improving the access and the place of women in sport.

The YOG are a powerful tool for the IOC and Dakar 2026 to reach and engage young people to get involved in sport and the Olympic Movement in the longer term. The IOC and Dakar 2026 intend to engage with youth both internationally and locally.

Senegal has no less than 5 million young people aged between 15 and 34 years old, and it can rely on Dakar 2026 to enhance its young and valuable demographic potential, and to pave the way for a new generation committed to act as conveyers of the idea that sustainable development can be achieved through sport. Through youth engagement, youth mobilisation, confidence, empowerment, non-discrimination and inclusion, Dakar 2026 can become a catalyst to inspire change for the young people of Senegal.

The Senegalese National Olympic Academy (ANOS) in its programme "On the road to Dakar 2026" has already undertaken actions since January 2019 to mobilise young people for the success of the Dakar 2026 project.

Additionally, the involvement of the Ministry of National Education aims at reaching teachers and as many young people as possible because education on Olympic values starts in the schools. The partnership with the Senegalese National Institute of Physical Education and Sports – INSEPS will facilitate in the teaching of Olympic values through sport. Students in Physical Education will be at the heart of education through sport, which they will implement in the different high schools and colleges.


Transformation is at the heart of the Dakar 2026 project. The main goal is to deliver transformative Games in the African context, which celebrate sport and the world’s best young athletes and provide opportunities for sporting, social, cultural, educational and economic changes, especially for young people.

The Dakar 2026 Transformation Strategy compiles three ambitions. These ambitions are broken down into various key goals in line with the Games vision, mission and objectives, as presented below:

  • Transformation for sport
  • Transformation by, with & for youth
  • Transformation of the cities and the country

Dakar 2026 aims to put the YOG at the heart of societal transformation of not only the cities of Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly, but also Senegal and Africa.

The proposed Master Plan for Dakar 2022 is centred on three Host Sites: the capital city, Dakar, the new city of Diamniadio and the coastal resort of Saly. All three Host Sites represent the multi-faceted culture and dynamic nature of Senegal. The Festival Sites are spread between the three Host Sites, which comprise seven standalone sites and five clusters.

The following sites are to be utilised for the competitions:

  • Complexe Iba Mar Diop (Iba Mar Diop Stadium) ;
  • Caserne Samba Diery Diallo;
  • Complexe Tour de l'Oeuf (Olympic pool) ;
  • Arène Nationale de Lutte;
  • Plage Vivier Almadies.
  • Dakar Arena;
  • Dakar Expo Centre;
  • CICAD;
  • Académie Francophone de Tennis
  • Saly Beach, East;
  • Saly Beach, West;
  • Golf de Saly.



The IOC Executive Board approved the inclusion of 28 Olympic sports into the Dakar 2026 Athlete Competition Programme (ACP), which will encourage further development of the Olympic sports in the African continent and 5 additional sports/disciplines (dance sport/breaking, karate/kumite, skateboarding, sport climbing/bouldering and surfing/shortboard). Wushu/taolu and baseball and softball/baseball5 were added to the ACP at the IOC Executive Board meeting in January 2020, following an exceptional request from the Organising Committee. Therefore, the final ACP for Dakar 2026 includes 35 sports.

Additional sports were included in the ACP based on their high popularity within the youth population, the desire to deliver attractive Games by continuing to innovate sports, the potential of greater growth of the sport without enlarging investments required. The inclusion of these new sports provides a good opportunity to promote them in Africa in line with Dakar 2026’s vision, which includes increasing the practice of sport by the youth of Senegal and Africa in its objectives and legacy goals.

The list of sports and disciplines that has been approved by the Olympic Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board for Dakar 2026:

















Baseball and Softball




3x3 Basketball





Dance Sport




Canoe Ocean Racing

Canoe Slalom




BMX Freestyle



















Beach Handball











Modern Pentathlon




Coastal Rowing



Rugby Sevens










(discipline to be confirmed)


Sport Climbing






Table Tennis













Beach Volleyball







Beach Wrestling




The revised YOG Host Selection Process created a simpler, shorter and cheaper process for participants, working in partnership with greater support and expertise from the IOC.

An open dialogue phase (March – June 2018) was followed by a candidature phase (July – October 2018), during which the IOC created an Outline Plan of Sport and Facilities in consultation with the Candidate Parties. The Outline plan sets out an overview of the potential facilities/sites that may be appropriate to host the YOG.

Following the election at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October 2018, Dakar 2026 entered the final phase of the Host Selection Process – the Co-Creation phase. During this phase, the IOC and Olympic stakeholders collaborated with the Host to jointly develop operational concepts and budget that align to strategic objectives and are adapted and optimised for the local context.

The outputs of the post-Games review of the Buenos Aires 2018 YOG have been taken into consideration as well as the International Federations own proposals for the Dakar 2026 Edition, as it relates to the sport programme. In determining an optimised YOG sport facilities plan, the IOC has been considering not only whether identified sites meet technical requirements but also how the facilities contributed to the YOG as a purpose driven sports festival and whether they provide sufficient opportunity to support the delivery of a multi-faceted sport, cultural and educational experience.

Following the official formation of the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (YOGOC) as a legal entity Dakar has seen significant progress in planning and preparation for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games.


Figure 4 depicts a summary of the Athlete365 Education Programme. It is structured around three central themes: Athlete Performance, Protect the Clean Athletes and Athletes Beyond Sport.



Dakar 2026
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Dakar 2026

IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest
IOC/Greg Martin - Senegal | Dakar. 12 November 2019 IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest Photograph by IOC/Greg Martin
Dakar 2026
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Dakar 2026

IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest
IOC/Greg Martin - Senegal | Dakar. 12 November 2019 IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest Photograph by IOC/Greg Martin
Dakar 2026
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Dakar 2026

IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest
IOC/Greg Martin - Senegal | Dakar. 12 November 2019 IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the Parcours Sportif de la Corniche Ouest Photograph by IOC/Greg Martin
Dakar 2026
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Dakar 2026

IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the NOC HQ in Dakar
IOC/Greg Martin - Senegal | Dakar. 12 November 2019 IOC President, Thomas Bach visits the NOC HQ in Dakar Photograph by IOC/Greg Martin

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