Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
VETERAN sports administrator Tommy Sithole will seek re-election to the powerful post of secretary-general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) at today’s elective assembly in Djibouti.
Sithole, a former Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, spent 10 years as the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s director of international co-operation and development.
He was first elected Anoca secretary-general in 2013 after beating Egyptian Khaled Zein Eldin by a single vote following a run-off. Sithole is being challenged by Abu Elgasim Hashim Ahmed, the Sudanese National Olympic Committee secretary-general.
The elections will, however, go ahead without three members following the disqualification of South Africa, Gambia and Burkina Faso after their national Olympic committees violated Article 26.1.2 of the Statutes by not being up to date with their affiliation fees.
Disqualification of the three countries means their nominated candidates are also barred from contesting.
South Africa had nominated its NOC president Napoleon Gideon Sam for the position of first vice-president, while his Burkina Faso counterpart Yameogo Jean Singapinda was nominated for the post of second-vice president.
Gambia’s Ousman Wadda Abou had been nominated for the treasurer’s post and his disqualification means incumbent Habu Gumel of Nigeria will retain his post unopposed.
Zimbabwe will be represented at today’s assembly by recently re-elected Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president Admire Masenda.
Sithole’s vast experience in sports administration puts him in good standing to defeat his challenger.
As IOC director of international co-operation and development, Sithole was responsible for, among other things undertaken with non-sports organisations, HIV and Aids advocacy, the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), humanitarian project Giving is Winning with UNHCR, school feeding programme with the World Food Programme, environment with UNEP and gender equality with UN Women.
He was also responsible for sport and environment, culture and education, promotion of women in and through sport and international relations.
International relations encompassed governments, the UN, UN entities, governmental and non-governmental organisations, international organisations, the African Union, World Bank, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Sport for Peace and Development.
Anoca is an organisation that unites the 54 national Olympic committees of Africa and has its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.