Nearly 200 delegates from 54 African countries have gathered in Lilongwe for a two-day international conference for Association of National Olympic Committee (Anoca) that seeks to find lasting solutions to improve Olympic sports so that Africa can win more medals during Olympic Games.
Among others, the meeting is reviewing the performance of member associations for the past 12 months and strategising for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Anoca general secretary Ahmed Abou Elgasim Hashim told journalists that unlike Africa, in Europe governments prioritise sports and they have multinational companies that sponsor sports.
“There are many multinational companies sponsoring athletes. On the other hand, in Africa many countries depend on government funding. Unfortunately, it’s not many governments in Africa who put sports as a priority in their national budgets,” he lamented.
Hashim said they have approved the allocation of $1 million financial envelope for the preparation of African athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Games to various national Olympic committee.
“This fund is available and will benefit all member countries but on condition that their athletes meet international standard qualifications,” he said.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila admitted that there are a lot of challenges facing African countries.
“We do not have much resource, but from the little we get we share with sports associations. It is high time sport associations market themselves to woo corporate support. Government cannot do everything,” he said.