President Ian Khama has called upon the African Union Sport Council Region V (AUSC) to set high standards for themselves, in an environment of harmonious collaboration and shared leadership, leveraging the strength of their various organisations for national development.
Khama was officially opening the AUSC Region V Council of Ministers meeting held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Friday. Khama said setting high standards and expectations for the region is the way of producing the best.
“In this connection, we need a long-term approach for talent identification and development, underpinned by an appreciation of the latest advances of sport science and technology,” he said.
Khama said sport organisations in AUSC Region V should foster mutually beneficial relationships with sport professionals at various institutions. “Quite often, we tend to consult foreign experts even when we have eminently trained and qualified professionals in our midst,” Khama said. He appreciated that exchange of ideas and experiences with foreign experts is a healthy development. “Nonetheless, we should, first and foremost, strive to utilise the expertise we have in our region first,” he added.
The President said he is confident that local sport experts can help make quantum leaps in improving performances on the field of play. He said considerable progress in that respect means respecting the rules, for they do not want to end up with cases that would reverse the gains made through the use of banned substances.
Furthermore, Khama implored the Council of Ministers to come up with solid recommendations to be tabled at the relevant SADC Summit, to stimulate
The chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Ana Paula Da Silva, who is also the minister of sport for Angola, said AUSC Region V has made ambitious plans to transform sport and unlock its latent commercial value for the good of the youth of the region. She said they have established, as the Council, after recommendations from the executive committee, programmes such as Regional Annual Sports Awards, Regional Marathon, The Sport Education and Accreditation Systems, Women Leadership Programme, Sport for People with Disabilities Programme as well as the Podium Performance Programme and the Region V Youth Games that Botswana will be hosting in 2018. Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng said the Council of Ministers is a high level structure in governance of sport in the region.
He said the Council provides policy guidance to the executive committee that comprises chairpersons and chief executive officers of sport councils, commissions and directors of member countries. “The forum was preceded by executive committee meeting that was held here last week. Amongst the major deliverables of the meeting is the signing of protocols of hosting of the games and the handing of the chairmanship to Botswana as we are hosting the games in 2018,” Olopeng said.