Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
represents an unlimited opportunity to raise awareness on these values, a senior United Nations Official told African football officials in Pretoria, South Africa.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop hosted by the AU Commission in collaboration with the South African Government and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee, the Director of the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, Djibril Diallo, said sport could contribute towards reduction of poverty, and child and maternal mortality.
Delegates at the 2010 World Cup African Legacy workshop, held on 6-7 March 2007, proposed measures to implement the 8th AU Assembly Declaration adopted on 30 January 2007 authorising its Commission to organise a Conference of Ministers of Sport to discuss activities to mark the International Year of African Football and to develop a plan of action for 2010 World Cup.
More than 100 participants from all fields of football in Africa attended the workshop. The NEPAD Secretariat was represented by Ms. Thaninga Shope-Linney, General Manager, Communications and Marketing.
Mr. Diallo told participants that for nearly five years, the UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace, under the leadership of Adolf Ogi, the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, has played a central role in advancing and coordinating the efforts of the UN system, the 192 UN member states and other sport organisations, “so that the convening power of sport can become an entry point to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to promote peace.”
Spreading the message of African football He assured delegates that UN country teams in each African country would support national efforts on sport, development and peace. There would be an inventory of the sports programs of each agency and how they could be coordinated to maximise the achievement of MDGs.
“We will also work with the 2010 World Cup National Organising Committee to explore how the stakeholders will utilise the full value of sport and its convening power,” he said, adding that his office would also work on a launch of the 2010 tournament at UN Headquarters and spread the message of African football to all UN member states.
Mr. Diallo also spoke about the first-ever UN Global Youth Leadership Summit, which his office organised in October 2006.
The summit brought together youth leaders from each of the 192 UN member states to exchange prospectives on how youth could accelerate the achievement of MDGs.
These dynamic and committed youth leaders, he said, could be harnessed as catalysts to further the goals of the International Year of African Football through the UN systems, including the network of UN Information Centres throughout the continent.
In his opening speech, the South African Minister of Sport, Makhenkesi Stofile, said that awarding the World Cup to Africa was a legacy that would be remembered by generations to come.
The award, he said, indicated growing trust in the African continent and “showed the world that we are as good as anyone else.”
The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Ms. Bience Gawanas, urged Africans to use the force of sport to foster human understanding and cooperation.
Also attending the workshop were the UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Ms. Scholastica Kimaryo, and representatives from the UN Development Programme, Global Environment Facility, UN Information Centre in Pretoria, as well as the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
The International Year of African Football, with the concept of Sport for All, will initiate a vigorous and renewed effort aimed at using sport to achieve economic and social development peace on the African continent.
Several activities will be held during the Year within the framework of the human development and cooperation strategies of all key stakeholders, which will be supported by a coordinated UN effort.
Steering Committee and “quick wins” Following on discussions the workshop recommended the immediate establishment of a steering committee made up of, among others, representatives from the African Union, South Africa’s Local Organising Committee for 2010 (LOC), Confederation of African Football Federation (CAF), and the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP).
Its function will be to oversee the implementation of the recommendations made. Its responsibilities will include monitoring and regular reporting on progress, and ensuring the inclusion of the African Diaspora in the envisaged activities.
“Quick wins” proposed for implementation in the run up to the 2010 World Cup included :
Develop a communication strategy on the Continental 2010 World Cup Legacy Programme building on the International Year of African Football
Assist in preparations of the First Conference of African Ministers of Sports
Revive and strengthen the African Women in Sports Association (AWISA)
Prepare for the launch of the African Legacy Programme at the UN General Assembly in September 2007
Develop a continental framework on sport policy in Africa, including the harmonisation of free movement of sports persons and improvement in conditions of service of football players
Initiate campaigns using football to contribute to addressing socio-economic problems especially rehabilitation of youth in conflict with the law ; eradication of malaria ; and drug abuse
Conduct a feasibility study on the establishment and/or strengthening of African sports academy (ies)
Steering Committee to identify three continental flagship projects out of the various projects identifies by the workshop
Initiate campaigns on the theme of “sport for peace”
Develop programmes in support of qualifying teams so that Africa can win the World Cup
Conduct an audit on the state of African football in order to develop a programme of action to strengthen football as a viable commercial business
Implement identified programmes on strengthening good governance and capacity building in African football
Support the operationalisation of the continental volunteer programme for the 2010 World Cup
Strengthen scientific and technological support systems
It was noted that responsibility for football infrastructure development and upgrading lies with national governments, in line with the Declaration of the AU Summit of January 2007.
By the United Nations Information Centre, Pretoria, South Africa Source : NEPAD News, March 9, 2007