The Federal Government on Friday solicited the support of member-states of African Union Sports Council (AUSC) and AU Commission for Nigeria to host AUSC Region 2 Secretariat.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, said this at the AUSC Region 2 Strategic Planning Workshop in Abuja.
“Such an undertaking will ensure synergy among the AU commission, the Secretariat of the AUSC Region 2 and the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat which is already domiciled in Abuja.
“I encourage you that in the course of your deliberations, you should come up with water-tight modalities that will position ECOWAS Sub-Region as a force to be reckoned with in continental and global sports.
“I urge you to make this forum another opportunity for African sports and indeed Mother Africa to benefit from your collective wisdom,’’ he said.
Dalung said that African Sports Movement was predicated on the fact that sports were tools for the promotion of African brotherhood, friendship and youth development.
He said that sports should be accorded a prime position in the national policy of all Region 2 member states.
The Head of Sports, AU Commission, Mr Machacha Shepande, said the workshop was aimed at restructuring the former Supreme Council for Sports in Africa into the AU Sports Development Regions.
This, he said, was in accordance with Architecture for Sport in Africa adopted by the AU Executive Council and Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
Congratulating Dalung on his appointment, he said AU Commission was convinced that with his leadership, AUSC Region 2 would restructure Region 2 within the framework of the Architecture for Sport in Africa.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, said the workshop was an offshoot of the decision reached at the fifth session of AU conference of ministers of sports.
He said one of the key decisions was the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) and transferring its functions to the AU Commission.
Ohaa said other decisions reached was the alignment of the former seven SCSA Sports Development Zones with the existing five AU Regions and the establishment of a new secretariat for AUSC Region 2.
He expressed optimism that at the end of deliberations, the meeting would chart a new road map for West African Sports to ensure that its number one position remained unchallenged on the continent.