|Jacques Rogge also encouraged African countries to bid for more major sports events. (ATR)
(ATR) Jacques Rogge finishes his four-country tour of Southern Africa by reiterating the IOC’s financial commitment to the continent.
Speaking in Windhoek, Namibia, the International Olympic Committee president pledged continued support to the continent.
“The IOC is helping Africa. Out of the budget of the IOC we will spend not less than $65 million for Africa alone and this is for the NOCs. We are also spending $240 million for the international federations, who in turn will also help their national federations in Africa.”
He also praised organization of the All Africa Games, the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the Fifa World Cup.
Rogge arrived in Namibia on May 28 to discuss sport development – the point of his second official trip to Africa.
He held meetings with the Namibia National Olympic Committee, IOC member from Namibia Frank Fredericks and Prime Minister Nahas Angula and President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“After the visit to the Prime Minister we visited the President of Namibia where I had the pleasure of announcing that the IOC will also give a special donation to the National Olympic Committee for youth activities and the development of youth sport of $50,000. That will support the NNOC in its efforts to develop more athletes and especially young athletes,” Rogge announced in Windhoek.
NNOC president Agnes Tjongarero also asked Rogge to help her committee find and retain a physiotherapist and also to investigate scholarships for athletes and coaches to train and study abroad.
His tour finishes up in Lusaka, Zambia today where the IOC, the national government and the sport federations are building a multisport complex and education center under the IOC Sport for Hope Program. Rogge met with on Tuesday with vice president Rupiah Banda.
“As Government, we intend to make use of these windows of opportunity, to improve our sports infrastructure and other supporting infrastructure so as to get the maximum benefits that come with such events,” Banda said.
Over the weekend, he was in Lesotho to meet with Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili. Mosisili accepted a $50,000 donation from Rogge on behalf of the Lesotho National Olympic Committee during the Saturday meeting. Rogge also attended the official opening of the OlympAfrica Youth Center in Lepereng, Lesotho media report. The Center was made possible by IOC funds.
Rogge’s second official trip to Africa started in South Africa on May 23, where he praised the country’s Fifa World Cup 2010 preparations and stated the IOC’s vision for Africa.
“It is our wish to foster development on the African continent. Africa is the leading continent as far as money and resources go,” he said.
Rogge took the tour both to study sport in Africa and also to promote the virtues of sport.
“I want to know exactly what challenges the National Olympic Committees and the sport in the region are facing. And it is also an opportunity for the IOC to access the governments and to convince them that it is worth to support sport and its structures,” he said before leaving Europe. Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.