A number of significant collaborative actions were recently agreed to by leading sports organisations at the inaugural Regional Sports Forum (Forum) for Southern Africa, guided by the International Working Group for Women & Sport (IWG) ‘Big Five’ .
Themed ‘Towards a Common Vision and Harmony in Sport’, the Forum was convened to map out areas and themes of mutual interest and cooperation amongst the three regional bodies; the Confederation of Southern Africa National Olympic Committees (COSANOC), the Africa Union Sport Council Region5 (AUSC5), and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Among the delegates were representatives of organisations that have signed the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 Déclaration sur les femmes et le sport including the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGC); International Olympic Committee (IOC); the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and many others.
Held in Maseru, Lesotho this November, the adopted resolutions were guided by the IWG ‘Big Five’, to lead the strategic actions for the region.
These resolutions will enable tangible action guidelines for advocacy for women and girls in sport, and be able to be monitored at organisational, national, and regional levels.
IWG Africa Representative Ms Matilda Mwaba presented on the outcomes and legacy of the IWG 2014-2018 hosted in Botswana at the Forum, and highlighted the IWG Botswana ‘Big Five’ as a priority action guide. The Women Sport Africa Network (WSAN) initiative was highlighted as a platform for mobilising collective action within the region and beyond.
Addressing delegate concerns over parallel structures and bodies of sport, it was clarified that the IWG is a platform that mobilises existing sport bodies towards the aim of equity and equality for women and girls. By signing the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 Declaration on Women and Sport, organisations commit to taking action within their mandates, while working in harmony to support sport delivery agencies in their respective territories.
With permission, a brief presentation on the resolutions can be viewed here.
The Forum will reconvene in 2020.
(R) Miriam Moyo – Commonwealth Games; Ms Matilda Mwaba – IWG Africa Representative; AUSC5 CEO (middle) Mr Stanley Mutoya and Convener of the Forum; Mrs Bessy Chilemo – Director of Ministry of Youth and Sports (Zambia); Mrs Brenda Chipande – NOCZ Executive Director; and (L) Lombe Mwambwa – NOWSPAR Special Advisor.
About Ms Mwaba
As well as being the Africa representative for the IWG Global Executive, Ms Mwaba is also the Executive Director for the National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation and Chairperson of the Women Sport Africa Network (WSAN).
About AUSC Region5
The African Union Sport Council Region5 (AUSC Region5) is the sports arm of the African Union, which was once the Organisation of African Unity. It was formed in the 1960s, and its headquarters is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The main aim of the AUSC is to use sports to achieve peace, integration and unity in Africa i.e. sport as a vehicle of encouraging people to develop and come together, irrespective of colour, economic status, politics, class, or gender.
The Confederation of Southern African National Olympic Committees (COSANOC) is a ten-member regional organisation belonging to the Olympic movement and is affiliated to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).
It seeks to promote the Olympic Charter; clean sport; peace; female participation in sport; encouraging the promotion of sports ethics; and demonstrating a responsible concern for environmental issues within member countries.