President Ian Khama has implored African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 ministers of sport to set themselves high standard to achieve the best.
Khama shared the sentiments Friday when officially opening the AUSC region 5 council of ministers meeting.
“Sport is now widely accepted as a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This being recognition for its significant contribution to social and personal development and upliftment of the living standards of those engaged in its processes. It impact and contribution encompasses health and well-being” Khama said.
“As a region, we must set high standards for ourselves, in an environment of harmonious collaboration and shared leadership, leveraging in the strength of our various organizations for national development,” he continued.
He observed that setting high standards and expectations was the way to producing the best.
The President also encouraged sports ministers in the region to have a long term approach for talent identification and development, underpinned by an appreciation of the latest advances in Sport Science and Technology.
He warned delegates not to forget grassroots development as it is important because it transforms the lives of ordinary citizens.
He observed that local experts can make quantum leaps in improving performances on the field of play.
Khama also cautioned ministers of sport to minimize expenses by using locally trained personnel in the region.
“Quite often, we tend to consult foreign experts even when we have eminently trained and qualified professionals in the region. It is appreciated that exchange of ideas and experiences with foreign experts is a healthy development. We should, first and foremost, strive to utilize the expertise we have in our region” advised Khama.
He implored the meeting to come up with solid recommendations that will be tabled at the SADC summit. He advised that the recommendations should be sound to stimulate socio-economic development for the region.
For her part the, the chairperson of Council of ministers, Ana Paula da Silva do Sacramento Neto said the region had made ambitious plans to transform sport and unlock its latent commercial value for the good of the youths in the region.
Neto explained that the region is planning to have regional annual Sports Awards, the regional marathon, The sport education and accreditations systems, women Leadership Programme, Sport for People with disabilities programme and Region 5 Youth games.
Neto encouraged member states to unite and work hard to sustain and for the success of the region. “The solidarity of this Region is paramount. We are fully cognizant of the diversity of our geo-socio environments and ideologies as well as economic diversity and political sovereignty of each of our member countries, the sustainability of our region and guarantee for successful performance as lies on the collective responsibility of our body politic and belief in the tenets that govern conduct of all member countries” Neto.