September, 29 2021.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Wednesday officially declared open events to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Executive Board at the ANOCA headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Minister who is playing host to Youth and Sports Ministers from Algeria, Ghana and Egypt acknowledged the presence of his counterparts and said it's time to take African sports development to the next level.
Dare said, "This celebration gladdens my heart, as I see a true reflection of generosity, understanding, international cooperation, sports and cultural exchange amongst 54 countries with a unified vision.
"The presence of the Ministers of Youth and Sports of four African countries - Algeria, Egypt, Ghana and indeed Nigeria is unprecedented and signals a new horizon for greater cooperation and coordination of sports development in Africa."
The Minister would also commend his colleagues for being change agents and for their commitment to work together to improve the fundamentals of sports growth and development in Africa.
According to him, "Nigeria shares this vision with ANOCA and all those who are present here today. The promotion of a society concerned with humanity, dignity and peace are tenets we subscribe to even as reflected in the key cardinals of Olympic solidarity in Africa.
"Since the year 2019 when the headquarters of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) was moved from Cameroon to Nigeria, the government of Nigeria has intensified efforts in supporting the operational strategies of the Association, towards promoting the fundamental principles and values of Olympism across the African continent.
"As the Olympic headquarters of Africa, Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has ensured consistent funding of programmes and activities organized by ANOCA to assist in actualizing the aims and objectives of the organization.
Dare also expressed optimism in the future of African sports and challenged members of the executive board of ANOCA to be deliberate with the efforts at sports development in Africa.
"The future of African sports is bright and certain but only if we intensify our efforts in the direction of infrastructural development, athlete’s welfare and grassroots sports development. These are issues to which the ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf has committed himself.
"On our part as Ministers of Youth And Sports, we will marshal the political will necessary, chart a course of initiatives and sports policy development that can deliver a brighter future for sports development." Dare concluded.