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AFCON: AUC Chairperson visits Cameroon to encourage women footballers

AFCON: AUC Chairperson visits Cameroon to encourage women footballers

November 24, 2016
Press Release
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Yaounde 24 November 2016 - The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma paid a brief working visit to Cameroon on 24th November 2016. The AUC and her delegation arrived the Yaounde Nsimalen International airport in the early hours of 24 November 2016. Her visit is in honour of an invitation by the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), requesting her presence for the 10th edition of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations that kicked off on November 19 in Cameroon. She was received at the Yaoundé-Nsimalen Airport by CAF President, Issa Hayatou and the Cameroonian Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt.

Upon her arrival, the AUC Chairperson granted audiences to two African sports officials, before meeting the representatives of the teams playing in the women AFCON 2016 to encourage them for being role models and leaders in sports.

First, Dr. Dlamini Zuma met with the President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Hamad Kalkaba Malboum. The meeting took place in the presence of the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Sidiki M. Kaloko. AUC Chairperson stressed on the need to promote all disciplines in sports including athleticism at youthful ages given that sports and culture are mobilizing factors to empower the youths. She called on a more vibrant African athletic programs to sensitize the youths on the need to contribute in the development of the continent and promote Africa as a key player in the world arena. She noted that the youths have a very important role to play in the Africa Agenda 2063.  “The theme for 2017 will focus on youth development, therefore the AUC counts on the support of the CAA and CAF to implement the continental agenda in support of the youth”, underlined Dr. Dlamini Zuma. At the end of the working session, AUC Chairperson received a symbolic gift from the CAA President, Col. Kalkaba.

Later, Dr. Dlamini Zuma received in audience the President of the Confederation of African Football, (CAF) Issa Hayatou who is in Cameroon as the country hosts of the 10th edition of the Women Africa Cup of Nations. During the meeting, the AUC Chairperson congratulated President Hayatou for the successful organization of the 2016 AFCON. She stressed on the need to use African football to promote African players both men and women to achieve their highest potentials and be a reference in this field in the world. “ We hope that an African will soon win the world cup and bring back the trophy in the continent” emphacised Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

She reiterated the determination of the AU Commission to continue supporting sports competitions in the continent. This, she explained, will serve in promoting unity amongst African countries, as well as enhance peace, prosperity and integration.

During the audience with the CAF President, in the presence of  members of CAF's Executive Committee, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma was proud of the great interest that CAF and FIFA have for women's football. "I know we still have a long way to go but I am pleased to know that CAF now gives women's football a much more significant place. It was one of my concerns during our last meeting in Cairo", said Dr. Dlamini Zuma to Mr. Hayatou. The latter thanked the AUC Chairperson for the diverse and constant support that the Commission has given CAF in recent years following the partnership agreement signed between the two institutions.

"When we feel politically supported, as it is the case with the African Union at this moment, we cannot but keep on pushing for the best in the interest of the continent", said the CAF President. He added his team is committed to work very hard so as to achieve the dream, which he shared with the Chairperson of the AU Commission, to see that an African team wins a World Cup and brings back the trophy in the continent. AUC Chairperson presented a symbolic gift to the CAF through the Chair of the Organising Committee, Mr. Tenga, as a sign of encouragement to their efforts in empowering the young girls in the continent.

The AUC delegation led by Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was received in audience at the Star Building by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon, H.E Mr. Philemon Yang. She used the opportunity to commend the Government of Cameroon for hosting the Women Africa Cup of Nations and urged the country to contribute in promoting the symbols of the Pan African Organisation such as flying the flag frican Union along side the national flag and siging the AU anthem after the national anthem at all times particularly during socio-cultural competitions.

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