The International Canoe Federation (https://www.CanoeICF.com/) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) signed an agreement on Thursday that will pave the way for the future development of canoeing on the continent.
ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf and ICF President Thomas Konietzko signed a memorandum of understanding in the Algerian capital of Algiers to work together to make the sports of canoeing and parachuting more accessible to participants across Africa.
The joint partnership will focus not only on raising performance levels across all disciplines of canoeing and paracanoeing, but also expanding the reach of recreational rowing.
The agreement included the launch of an ICF-funded pilot project to help develop sustainable structures in national federations in Africa that will enable talented athletes to reach their full potential.
The project focuses on training local officials and coaches and supporting local club activities to inspire new children to take up canoeing.
A continental manager will be appointed to provide assistance in close coordination with the national federations as a partner in the project.
The association will also focus on preparations for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal, with the aim of qualifying as many representatives from African countries as possible.
Special camps will be organized to prepare young athletes for the YOG and the specialized format.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the global growth of our wonderful sport,” said Chairman Konietzko.
“We know there is a lot of enthusiasm across Africa for rowing sports, but until now it has sometimes been difficult to provide the necessary resources for canoeing to grow.
I congratulate ANOC for their vision and their support of this important effort.
“Our dream is to have very soon not only more African medalists in all our canoe disciplines, but also to see Africans enjoying rowing sports as a recreational activity.”
The ICF will introduce a Scholarship Program for Canoeing Athletes, offer special offers for training of coaches and aims to establish canoeing centers in some African countries.
Under the auspices of the All Life programme, the parties agreed to promote the sport of padel to as many people as possible in Africa and to promote the values associated with physical activity.
Both partners will also work to identify local companies that can produce boats.
To establish a stable African competition system, the ICF will help continue to organize regular continental championships in as many canoe disciplines as possible.
The ICF and its partner Starboard will provide 50 boards, which will be donated to participating nations after the competition to further develop the SUP sport in Africa.