Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
MEMBERS of African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games Ministers Troika have expressed concern about the slow progress in infrastructure rehabilitation for the tournament in Maseru, Lesotho, in December.
They even warned that there’s a heightened risk of failure to complete the projects in time for commencement of the Games.
In a meeting held in Maseru last week, the troika, made up of ministers of sports from Lesotho, Likeleli Tampane, Ulemu Msungama from Malawi and Tumiso Rakgare from Botswana, undertook to mobilise member countries to support and contribute in whatever form towards the successful hosting of the Games.
They appreciated efforts of the Lesotho government ‘‘to salvage the situation and deliver the Games for the sake of youth empowerment and socio-economic benefits derived therefrom’’.
The meeting also acknowledged the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic impact on the host country’s ability to deploy adequate resources for the Games, while also noting with concern the limited time left before commencement of the Games and the need to expedite all processes and systems for the successful delivery of the Games.
‘‘We hereby resolve that recommendations by the secretariat as amended by Troika be tabled for consideration and adoption by Council of Ministers during a caucus meeting to be convened on 25 October 2021 to establish a common position prior to attending the Specialised Technical Committee on Youth and all efforts be made to ensure that all competitions are held in Lesotho for the sake of the country’s sovereignty and diplomatic integrity.
Member countries should be encouraged to offer support to Lesotho to make the Games successful,’’ reads the Troika’s statement.
It urged all member countries to respect the decisions of the Troika and Council of Ministers to ensure consistency and universal execution of regional programmes and activities.
“As the only organised region in Africa, all honourable ministers are encouraged to attend the STC-YCS-4 to build solidarity and strengthen the voice of the region during decision-making processes and that honourable ministers must ensure that their respective countries comply with Article 16.2.2 of the Region 5 constitution, which requires that at least one of the three members representing their respective countries on the executive committee be a woman.
Non-compliance with this provision therefore attracts compliance consequences as provided for in the relevant Region 5 foundation documents,’’ the statement added.