AU Chair urges Africans to harness sports events to boost social cohesion, unity

ADDIS ABABA: August 23 (EI) – The African Union (AU) has urged African countries to harness the potential of sports events to boost the social cohesion and unity of African countries and societies.

The urgent call was made by Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, in line with the ongoing 12th Edition of the African Games, which was officially opened earlier this week and runs until August 31 Morocco, the pan African bloc said in a statement issued on late Thursday.

Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc in his statement regarding the 12th Edition of the African Games “emphasized on the significance of sport to boost the social cohesion and unity of African countries,” the statement read.

“Our youth must find in the practice of sport and games the breeding ground for a broader training, as sport has always provide opportunity to mold characters and prepare young people for more difficult and demanding tasks,” the AU Commission Chairperson said.

“The games are also the field and platform for strengthening of the cohesion and unity of our countries,” Faki added.

The 12th Edition of the African Games, which is being held under the theme “Creating Opportunities through Sports for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons,” was officially kicked off on August 19 at the Moulay Abdallah Sport Complex, in Morocco’s capital Rabat and is scheduled to take place until August 31 in different cities across the Kingdom of Morocco.

According to the AU Commission Chairperson, such continental sports events are also expected to play significant role in shaping the continent’s younger generation to pursue strong mentality and attitude about everyday life.

“By competing each other in the various duels and other sporting events, our young people broaden their horizons and size up the depth and relevance of this popular wisdom that life is a struggle,” an AU statement quoted Faki as saying.

“A struggle that educates people to avoid waiting, the search for easy solutions, a struggle to build oneself in a dignity, in work well done and above all, an ethical struggle to build a society guided by the spirit and letter of this Africa that we want,” the Chairperson stressed.

The African Games are a continental multi-disciplinary sports event held every four years organized by the African Union with the Association of National Olympic Committees of African, (ANOCA) and the African Sports Confederation (AASC).

The 2019 edition of the continental multi-disciplinary sports event, which is the 12th Edition of the African Games, has brought together more than 6,000 athletes who will be vying to compete in 26 different sports disciplines, according to the AU.

Some 17 of the total 26 sports disciplines are qualifying to the upcoming international Olympic Games of Tokyo, capital of Japan, slated to be held in 2020, it was noted.

The AU, which is the owner of the African Games, had also recently organized a handing over ceremony of the AU’s flag to the host nation Morocco.

The two weeks long competition will be continuing with different sport activities, exhibition shows, as well as some sideline meetings in line with the theme of the 12th edition of African Games, according to the AU.

The closing ceremony of the games will be marked on August 31 in the presence of high level officials from the AU Commission, the Association of National Olympic Committees of African (ANOCA) and the African Sports Confederation (AASC) and other high-level African personalities, it was noted.

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