Hon. Minister of Youth and Sport of Algeria
Association Of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA)
Association of African Sport Confederations (AASC)
World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA)
Association of Women in Sport in Africa (AWISA)
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the African Union Commission, It is an honor and privilege for all of us to participate at this very important Session of the 3rd Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport (STC-YCS3) under the theme: ‘The Role of African Youth in Building a Strong Culture towards Fighting Corruption’.
From the outset allow me to express our gratitude to the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria for offering to host the 3rd Session of the STC on Youth, Culture and Sport and for putting at our disposal all the courtesies befitting this meeting.
You will recall that in June 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia we convened the Second Session of the Conference of Specialized Technical Committee on Youth Culture and Sports (STC-YCS2) under the theme ‘African Year of Human Rights: Promoting Ethics and Cultural Diversity as an Essential Right for the People of Africa’.
In my view, I see a very close link between the theme of the 2nd Session and that of the 3rd one. This is a clear indication that to ensure sustainable development and contribute towards a common vision for the achievement of the Agenda 2063 we need to ensure that the Role of the African Youth is strengthened through Culture and Sport towards fighting corruption. I trust that we will build on the rich tradition of this process with the same enthusiasm and commitment to advance the interests of the African Youth through Culture and Sport.
With this in mind, we need to embark on addressing the urgent need to end corruption as it is continuously seen as a major setback in the socio-economic and political development of the continent. The continent continuously seeks to reach high levels of democratic governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights, but, with its high levels of corruption, these efforts continue to be hindered. Seventy seven percent (77%) of Africa’s population is youth and mostly active in sport. As such Sport and Culture can make a major contribution to youth empowerment when properly harnessed.
When it comes to Youth Development, issues of coordination and mainstreaming have a central role in harnessing the Youth bulde of the Continent. The Agenda 2063 10 year implementation plan, goal 18 calls for the development of the African Plan of Action on Youth Empowerment (APAYE) 2019 - 2024; the development of the APAYE will consider the various youth AUC strategies and documents on Youth Development and that of partners including the United Nations, to ensure conceited and robust efforts to addressing Youth Empowerment in the continent .
The strategic Objective is to have an Africa Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (APAYE 2019-2024) that brings together all Continental efforts on Youth Empowerment and act as investment strategy for harnessing the Demographic Dividend, and targeted to be adopted by the STC Bureau by June 2019.
Execllencies, Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen
On Culture issues you will also recall that as per the decision of the STC-YCS2 endorsed by the Executive Council in 2016, the AU Commission and the Govenrment of kenya were to organized an Extraordinary Session of the STC-YCS2 to review the draft Statute of the African Audio-Visual and Cinema Commission (AACC). The Extraoridnary Session of the STC-YCS2 was successfully hosted by the Government of Kenya and the draft Statute was endorsed.
It is currently awaiiting further approval of the STC on Justice and Legal Affairs so that the Temporary Secretariat of the AACC to be hosted by Kenya will be operationalized. We expresse gratutide to the Government of kenya for hosting the Extraordinary Session of the STC-YCS2 and the Temporary Secretariat of the African Audio Visual and Cinema Commission (AACC). This will be a great boost in the development of the creative economy of the continent.
Our mainpreocupation in the culture sector remains the slow ratification process of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, adopted by the 6th AU Assembly held in Karthoum, the Sudan in January 2006. This continental policy tool has only been ratified by twelve (12) Member States. Allow me to use this opportunity, Honarouble Ministers to once again impress on you the need to accelrate the processes of ratification of this culture policy tool to ensure it enters into force soon.
Other programmes and initiatives of the culture sector include: the establishment of the Technical and Advisory Committee of the Great Museum of Africa, which the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is hosting.
The Committee is working closely with Algeria and the AU Commission to ensure that the Great Museum of Africa is inaugurated by 2022; the Development of the AU Model Law on the Protection of Cultural Property and Hertiage ; the operationalization of more Vehicular Cross Border Language Commissions (VCLC) to promote the development of African Language; and the boosting of the Work of the Centre of Linguistic Studies through Oral Traditions (CELHTO) an AU Specilized Instituion that will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in November 2018.
We call upon all Member States to support these continet-wide initiatives to ensure that the culture and the creative economy are given prominence and contribute to the socio-economic development of the continent
Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
The significance of sport for society is unquestionable. It engenders some of humanity’s most important values — fairness, equality, teamwork. Sport fosters citizenship and promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is about emotions, passion, prestige and power. In many respects, sport and sport sponsorship requires a significant investment. Sport can therefore be a powerful tool to foster universal values and promote transformative social change. Sport is beneficial for companies. The premium often placed on access to sporting events has made them a platform to gain visibility and attract significant resources. Sport sponsorship can help companies enter new markets, strengthen their brand and establish a positive emotional link to a company’s products and services.
Sponsorship can also help sport entities such as Federations, athletes, and teams to achieve peak performance. However, the opportunity for companies and sport entities to benefit from involvement in sporting events given that overall spending on such events is huge, presents a potential for corruption. Bribery, doping, match fixing and illegal betting are just some of the negative actions that undermine the spirit of sport. To preserve the positive spirit of sport worldwide, governments, companies and sport entities have a responsibility to take action to ensure that principles of integrity, accountability and transparency are reflected in the way sport is conducted and managed.
In addressing anti-doping issues in sport, the AUC has taken leadership role in coordinating strategies and mechanisms to promote doping free sport in Africa. In this regard, I wish to report that the African Union Commissioner of Social Affairs was appointed as a permanent representative on the World Anti-Doping Agency Executive and Foundation Board. In addition, the African Union is also chair for the Public Authorities representing Government on the WADA Executive Committee.
In implementing the decisions of the STC YSC 2 in regard to anti-doping issues, the AUC has convened 2 anti- doping forums to develop strategies on anti-doping matters.
Further, in an effort to ensure collaboration with the African Sport Movement, the African Union Commission signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and the Association of African Sports Confederations aimed at pulling efforts and resources to ensure effective organization and management of the African Games.
In insuring inclusiveness, the Commission convened two workshops aimed at developing strategies to support women participation in sport.
In addition, the Commission initiated the establishment of a Faculty on Sport and development within the Pan African University, aimed at building capacity of sports managers and administrators. In this regard, I wish to encourage member states to support young people to apply for this programme.
We need to agree with clear recommendations on the Role of African Youth in Building a Strong Sport and Culture towards Fighting Corruption and to use all the means at our disposal to ensure that Culture and Sport becomes significant instruments for addressing interests of the Youth, social and other challenges on the Continent. The fulfillment of these objectives has been achieved in most cases and our efforts and resolve to hasten the pace of implementation should only quicken. Tangible advances have been recorded in the implementation of key recommendations and we can confidently report on major improvements thus far.
May I conclude by expressing utmost gratitude to all of you for granting as Chairperson for 3rd Ordinary Session of the Conference of Specialized Technical Committee on Youth Culture and Sports an opportunity to preside over the Bureau.
I wish you successful deliberations in our meeting.
Thank you for your attention.