The creation of the first African Para Games has taken a big step forward following a meeting between the African Paralympic Committee (APC) and the African Union (AU) in Algiers, Algeria.
The APC asked the AU to formally endorse the African Para Games as an official multi-sport event for Para athletes held every four years in the lead-up to the Paralympic Games. The first edition could potentially be held as soon as late-2019.
APC authorities also met with the 55 member states’ Sports Ministers and Directors of African National Sports Councils to analyse opportunities for promotion and development of Para sports across the continent.
It was agreed that member states should request an annual budget to support sporting activities for people with impairment and their respective National Paralympic Committees.
APC President Leonel da Rocha Pinto said: “Meeting the representatives of each of the African Union’s member states is a milestone. We need their support to create pathways for our Para athletes from the grassroots to the elite level.
“I am very grateful for having had this opportunity to attend this important conference and I`m looking forward to a close cooperation with the AU and the African countries.”
The APC was also recognised as the legitimate umbrella body for all matters related to sports for people with impairment, which is key for ensuring financial support in the upcoming years.
In addition, the APC met with the leadership of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Associations of African Sports Confederations (AASC) seeking to build a close partnership.