Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Mitcy Larue attended the World Anti-Doping Agency, African Executive Committee and Foundation Board meeting held at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from February 28 to March 1, 2018.
She was accompanied by her sports special advisor Jean Larue who is also the president of the Indian Ocean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (Rado). Seychellois Robert Auguste, senior sports officer at the African Union (AU); Machacha Shepanda, sports director at the AU; Kenya’s representative Japhter Rugut; Rune Andersen, special advisor international relations of Norway; and Rene Bouchard, Wada governance advisor; were also present.
The meeting was chaired by the vice-president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), Linda Hofstad Helleland, who is also the Minister of Children and Equality in Norway.
The first meeting was held on February 28, 2018 at the African Union Commission (AU) headquarters chaired by the AU commissioner for social affairs, El Fadil.
The director of the Wada office for Africa, Rodney Swigelaar, gave an overview of the African forum, planning and objectives and a review of the implementation of the 2017 resolutions.
He emphasised on the need to further strengthen regional collaboration on Wada matters (African Foundation Board and African Executive Committee (Exco) collaboration).
He also elaborated on Africa’s representation and commitment of the Unesco Conference of Parties meeting outcomes.
For the second meeting, chaired by Wada vice-president Helleland, the delegates discussed Africa’s role as chairperson of Wada informal governmental meetings. In this regard, Africa will lead the discussions and also carry the costs associated with hosting meetings with government representatives serving on the executive committee and another for the Foundation Board members.
Other issues discussed were the availability of Wada finances on the fight against doping across all sports and all countries of the world where there was a proposed budget increase of US $14.9 million for 2018 to 2021.
According to Mr Larue, the two-day working meeting provided opportunities for African representatives to meet face to face and to network with Wada and the African Union.
“It was the perfect fit for the ‘One Voice’ Initiative, something which has been missing on the African continent. Seychelles must continue to play an important role in the fight against doping at regional and international level,” said Mr Larue.
Africa is being represented on Wada by four persons, with Minister Larue as member of Wada Foundation Board along with Erastus Uutoni, Minister for Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture of Namibia; and Rachid Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Heritage, Kenya.
Amira El Fadil, African Union’s commissioner for social affairs, is a member of Wada’s executive committee.
The meeting was for the four representatives to meet and discuss finance and the way forward for Africa’s representation at Wada through a One Voice initiative
On the One Voice initiative, the key in this regard is the sharing of information and ensuring that all role players are kept abreast of developments, have the opportunity to provide inputs, are part of the decision-making process and can express their views before decisions are taken and made public.
As future opportunities to engage African stakeholders, vice-president Helleand will attend regional meetings so as to have the opportunity to meet African sports ministers and she is expected to attend the second AU Anti-Doping Forum to be held in July or August 2018 in Seychelles.
The budget was discussed together with the four-year plan proposed by Wada management and supported by the Wada Finance and Administration Committee. Wada will submit its four-year plan for approval and will seek budgetary increases of 15% in 2019, 15% in 2020 and 5% in 2021. This is planned for the May 2018 meeting in Montreal, Canada.
At regional level, Seychelles heads the Indian Ocean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (Rado). At international level, Seychelles represents Africa on the Foundation Board for the next three years, with Minister Larue on the board. Seychelles Vice-President Vincent Meriton sits on the Finance and Administration Committee of Wada.
Mr Larue said that the government of Seychelles must continue to support its representatives on the various committees to ensure a strong voice on Wada Executive Committee, Founding Board and African Union
“Seychelles must continue to advocate a zero tolerance against doping in sports and continue to fight against this social scourge and that anti-doping is under control in Seychelles and we are satisfied that sports bodies are more responsible, committed and are in compliance with the Wada code and regulations,” Mr Larue said.
Wada was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. A world where all athletes can compete in a doping-free sporting environment.
Source : Seychelles NATION