Aug 1, 2014, 9:55 AM
The delegation of Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) led by President Momodou Dibba and comprising Secretary General Peter Prom and Media Attache Namory Trawally returned home Sunday evening after attending the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa held in Abidjan on 12 and13 July 2013.
Beatrice Allen, first Vice President of GNOC, who was invited by ANOCA as African IOC Member, was appointed as chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
The well-attended ANOCA annual elective General Assembly, 52 out of 53, formally approved General Lassana Palenfo for a third and final term as President, an exercise that also saw long-serving Zimbabwean sports administrator Tomas Sithole voted as the Secretary General.
IOC President Jacque Rogge, Vice President Thomas Bach and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah were part of a host of dignitaries from the Olympic movement that attended the elective assembly.
Sithole, who previously served as the IOC Director for International Cooperation and Development, garnered 26 votes to regain the post he once held from 1997, against the incumbent Egyptian Khaled Zein Eldin 25.
Friday’s four hour-long voting exercise in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan saw all the other incumbents elected back to the office with the addition of Lesotho’s Olympic Committee President Madam Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo who captured the fourth Vice President seat reserved for women, after the third round of voting.
South Africa’s stab at ANOCA posts hit a snag as its NOC boss Tubby Reid lost his bid for the post of second Vice President to the incumbent Soda Costa Alegre Joad Manuel from Sao Tome and Principle.
SASSOC Vice President Kajee Hajera lost the race for the women’s vice chair post, whilst Zimbabwean Sithole returns to the board where he first served as member from 1989.
“This election was for me to win, it was not for me to lose. I wanted to be elected to come and serve and use the experience that I have gained in the past in sports within Africa,” said an elated Sithole after the second round of voting following a tied 25-25 votes in the first attempt.
Still smarting from the premature closure of the African Village in London in row over unpaid bills, the Ivorian President sought instead to move forward as he shared a plan to develop and implement athlete’s programmes for Rio 2016 for each of the 53 NOCs that will ensure increased participation and boost performance in Brazil.
“This was a very tight and democratic election. The elected board I am sure will be up to the task to carry through the programmes we have outlined for the next four years. We want to improve on our administration and focus on training and talent development ahead of Rio,” offered Palenfo.
The African cultural village that was located at Kensington Gardens was shut five days early after a bitter dispute between the suppliers and the contracted organizers.
The outgoing Executive board faced a barrage of criticism at the 15th General Assembly on the organization of the African house which hosted 16 NOCs and cost about $800 000.
“We were not convinced with the idea of the Africa village and it turned out to be a shame and cost which we could have avoided,” argued Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President of the Senegal NOC.
“If we were to put all that money spent into the development of athletes and projects within our NOCs it would have been a solid investment,” added the Ugandan NOC head counterpart William Blick.
The ANOCA Executive board which has since moved to court to sue the organisers for breach of contract however maintained that the cultural village was a noble idea that attracted thousands of visitors and should be supported in future.
Nigeria’s Habu Ahmed Gumel was unopposed and retained his treasurer’s seat, and so did the First Vice President Algerian Mustafa Berraf, who topped the votes 26-15 against his challenger Chad’s Moussa Mahamat.
Here, following, is the New Executive Committee of ANOCA:
1- President: Intendant General Lassana PALENFO (Cote D’Ivoire)
2- 1st Vice president: Mustapha BERRAF( Algeria)
3- 2nd Vice President: DA COSTA ALEGRE A. JOAO Manuel (Sao Tome and Principe)
4- 3rd Vice President: Hao Thyn Voon Phippe HA SHUN (Mauritius)
5- 4th Vice President: Madam Matlohang MOILOA-RAMOQOPO (Lesotho).
6- Secretary-General: Tomas Ganda SITHOLE( Zimbabwe)
7- Treasurer General: HABU Ahmed Gumel (Nigeria)