The President of the Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Intendant Geneneral Lassana Palenfo, has expressed confidence that the country is ready to host the second edition of the Africa Youth Games.
Despite having had a very short notice to host the games, the ANOCA President said Botswana has shown the continental Olympics mother body it is capable of hosting.
Palenfo said this while addressing the press shortly after donating a cheque of $2 million to the Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC).
According to Palenfo, having made several trips into the country since it was awarded the host status, he is now fully assured that Botswana can host successful games.
The ANOCA president down played the importance of the monies donated by the African Olympics mother body towards the games, saying the most important thing was the guarantee given by Botswana to host the games. He said as it is at the moment, Botswana has everything, including infrastructure in place to ensure the games are successfully hosted.
While the ANOCA President acknowledged that it usually takes 6 ÔÇô 8 years for a country to prepare for games of this magnitude, he expressed confidence that the country can pull off successful games despite having been only given a 14-months notice.
Palenfo said like Botswana, Morocco, who hosted the maiden Africa Youth Games were given a very short time but they managed to host successfully. With ANOCA and the Games Organising Committees footing all the bills for athletes and officials accommodations, meals and transport during the games, Palenfo is of the view that all the 54 countries will attend the games. Meanwhile, the ANOCA President said all countries competing at the games are given a fixed quota of athletes and officials to bring to the games.
He said the fixed quota is made to ensure that both ANOCA and the host country’s Games Organising Committee can prepare adequately as they bear all the costs of hosting the games.
He said this is to ensure maximum participation by countries as ANOCA views the youth as the future and thus the undertakings. On other issues, Palenfo said he was hopeful that the games will play a significant role in advancing the growth and development of sport in the country.
As such, he said ANOCA and other Olympic committees, including the United States of America has forwarded experts to Botswana to help in preparations for the games.
He also made assurances that when the games are done with, ANOCA officials will come back to Botswana to check how the country is doing as part of the games’ legacy.