Accra, Nov 16, GNA - The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) will hold an Election Congress in Accra from June 17 to 19 next year.
Mr Raymond Ibata, the Congolese Secretary General of the Association announced at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday that the Congress would seek to install new executive members to steer the affairs of ANOCA from 2005 to 2008.
He said he was in the country to set the stage for the conference and praised the Ghana Olympic Committee for levelling the ground in readiness for the Congress.
Mr Ibata, who spoke in French and had his speech interpreted by Mr Winslow Sone, a Cameroonian Director of the Association praised the government and people of Ghana for showing great interest in the hosting of the Congress.
The Secretary general said in all 215 delegates including 106 from Africa in addition to 14 executive members of ANOCA, a powerful representation from the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rougge, the incumbent president of the IOC and Juan Antonio Samaranch, a former president would be in attendance.
He said at the Congress would be a landmark event for Ghana and all participating countries as it would be the venue for high profile lobbying since the IOC would convene shortly after the Congress in July to select the host for the 2012 Olympics. "Accra will be the Olympic capital of the world during the conference and I am very happy that the GOC is doing very well towards the event."
He said the bid teams of the Afro Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games will be present to lobby for votes and called on the Ghanaian media to be worthy partners of ANOCA by giving the event a wide publicity.
Commenting on the preparedness of Ghana to host the event Mr Benson T. Baba, President of the GOC said they worked very hard to secure the hosting rights away from challengers Zimbabwe and would therefore do everything to make it a success.
He said Ghana stood to benefit from the Congress, as it would afford the big wigs of the IOC to see what we have and what we need and assist us in our needs.
The President implored Ghanaians to let the guests know that "the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality is not a fluke but a reality."
On the inclusion of traditional African sports on the list of Olympic disciplines, Mr Baba said the GOC had conducted research into some of the sports and made representation to the IOC.
He announced that ANOCA has made 40 thousand dollars available to the GOC to improve its office facility before the Congress.
The Accra Congress will be the venue for the election of a new President, three vice presidents, a Secretary General, a Treasurer general and seven presidents of the Zones who will be elected by their various blocks and presented to plenary for ratification.