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IOC President wraps up first leg of Africa trip at closing ceremony of the African Youth Games

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has concluded the first of three stops on a visit to Africa, taking in the final two days of the 2nd African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana.

Some 2,500 athletes from 54 African nations competed in 21 sports at the competition, which finished with a closing ceremony on Saturday night.


While in Gaborone, the IOC President attended a reception hosted by the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Lassana Palenfo, which was attended by representatives of all 53 African NOCs present at the Games and representatives of the South Sudan sporting movement.

During the visit the President also met with IOC members in Africa to discuss a range of topics, including the Olympic Agenda 2020. The group exchanged ideas on the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement and the contribution that Africa could make.

On Saturday the President convened a meeting of the Sudan NOC and representatives of the South Sudan sporting movement, which the IOC is currently helping to set up its own National Olympic Committee. The parties discussed ways to assist athletes on the ground as well as humanitarian issues. 

The delegations also reported that since the IOC signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations, they had been able to contact local UN officials to work on programmes related to sport and development.

Later, the IOC President laid the foundation stone at the site of the future headquarters of the Botswana National Olympic Committee.

At the ceremony for the new HQ, which is being supported by the IOC, he praised the Botswana NOC for their vision.

“You may be a small African country in terms of population,” he said, “but you have placed yourself at the heart of Olympic sport in Africa.”

President Bach is in Africa on a three-nation tour that will also include stops in Kenya and Ethiopia.


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