The Association of African National Olympic Committees (ANOCA) has appointed the President of Mauritius Olympic Committee (COM), Philippe Hao Thyn Voon as head of the African Village at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
After the debacle that led to the shameful early closure of the African village at London 2012, ANOCA at their recent conference held from October 12 to 13 in Kigali, Rwanda, quickly moved to forestall another show of shame in Brazil.
After his appointment as the third Vice President of ANOCA in July in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Philippe Thyn Voon Hao went to Rwanda for the 30th Seminar for Secretaries General of African NOC to be invested in his new role.
Hao Thyn Voon admitted he has inherited "a huge responsibility" but he's counting on the support of the general secretaries of ANOCA.
"This is indeed a very huge work," he says. "But, I'll be supported by the secretariat of ANOCA and we will act in the best interests of African sport especially to avoid the problems that had arisen in London last year will not be repeated."
The creation of the African Village in Rio will require substantial resources to expose to the world the resources and the wealth of African sport which consists of 53 countries, its tourist attractions and cultural value through performances and life shows.
Among the resolutions that were ratified at the 29th session of the Seminar for Secretaries General of ANOCA held in September 2012 in Mauritius, was that this body would do two things:
Firstly, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the United States will sign performance contracts so that the preparation of African sports can take place in the best conditions possible. And secondly, the African athletes will sign an agreement with their NOCs forcing them to return to their country to avoid cases of desertion in the Olympics, as was the case in London.
These resolutions were presented by the President of ANOCA, Ivorian Lassana Palenfo. These measures were part of an effort to help African sport to exceed 40 gold medals in Rio in 2016, after a mixed record of 34 gold medals in London, 40 in Beijing in 2008 and 35 in Athens in 2004 .
ANOCA at this conference also confirmed the award of the 2015 All-Africa Games to Congo - Brazzaville. The event will serve as the Olympic qualifying events in various sports for Rio 2016. The All-Africa Games will take place just before or after the 9th Island Games scheduled from July 28 to August 7, 2015 in Reunion Island.
Last year, ANOCA took over from the Supreme Council of African Sports (CSSC) the organization of the African Games, in close collaboration with the African Union. A change made after forty years of the CSSC.