(ATR) A new generation of Olympic leaders take hold in Africa.
In November Moustapha Berraf* won election as the new president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa. He succeeds Lassana Palenfo, who held the post for 13 years. Berraf, the first North African to hold the post, was the victor of a splintered election.
It’s now up to the Algerian to gather the energies of the 54 NOCs on the continent and direct the often fractious group toward common goals. Bringing ex-opponents such as IOC Member from Burundi Lydia Nsekera and possibly Cameroon NOC chief Hamad Kalkaba Malboum into the tent is needed.
Successful staging of the 2019 African Games in Morocco is job one for Berraf and colleagues. Whether he becomes an IOC member in the future remains to be seen, as Moroccan Nawal El Moutawakel is already one of the IOC's senior members.
Of the 13 current IOC members from Africa, notables include Nsekera. She’s chair of the Women In Sport Commission and is a FIFA vice president. Anant Singh of South Africa, a relative newcomer, now chairs the IOC Communications Commission.
Kenyan Paul Tergat, IOC member since 2013 is on the IOC Audit Committee and was elected Kenya NOC president on 2018.
Other IOC members to watch include Dagmawit Girmay Berhane of Ethiopia, Aïcha Garad Ali from Djibouti and Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal.
Ndiaye will be an important figure in the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal, along with Kirsty Coventry. The Zimbabwean swimmer is now the chair of the IOC Athletes Commission and the Coordination Commission for the 2022 YOG, which will be watched closely as the biggest multi-Olympic sports event to be held in Africa.
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Mustapha Berraf's nationality. ATR regrets the error.
The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.
Homepage photo: Wikimedia Commons
Reported by Ed Hula.