Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) president Valens Munyabagisha has welcomed the move to put the management of All African Games under Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA).
The African Union (AU) and ANOCA, in a meeting held last week in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU), in which it was agreed that AU permanently keeps ownership of the Africa Games while ANOCA would organize, manage and run them.
The African Sports Confederation (AASC) is in charge of the technical components of the African Games, formerly called ‘All Africa Games’.
Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview, Munyabagisha underscored the significance of the move saying that this is good for the Games to become the permanent property of AU and for ANOCA to take over control of the technical part.
“This is why our African athletes have missed qualification to international events; it is a good opportunity for our athletes to evaluate themselves ahead of the international Games,” he said on Tuesday.
The multi-sport event, formally known as the All Africa Games, has previously been organized by the Sports Council of the AU, an umbrella group of continental Governments under the African Union (AU).
According to the MoU, the agreement provides each party with the legal framework required to strengthen cooperation.
The news come amid uncertainty surrounding the 2019 African Games after Equatorial Guinea pulled out from hosting the event.
In the Sports Convention conference hosted in Kigali in September 2015, and attended by a vast spectrum of sporting officials, the issue dominated the agenda. Congo Brazzaville staged the last African Games in 2015.
Previously, a row between the ANOCA and the AU cost the Games a chance to serve as an Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016 and further diminished the event’s profile, which at that point was already at an all-time low.
While there are reports that Lusaka may bid to host the 12th edition in 2019, there has been no confirmation from ANOCA in that regard. The African Games have been held on 12 occasions since an inaugural edition in Brazzaville in 1965.