Lassana Palenfo has reportedly received encouragement to pursue a fourth term as ANOCA President ©AFP/Getty Images

Lassana Palenfo has been encouraged to stand for what would be a fourth term as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), with the "vast majority" of Executive Committee members reportedly expressing their wish for him to run again.

This will enable him to see through the "numerous projects initiated in recent years", it was explained at a meeting in São Tomé and Príncipe, including what will be the first African Beach Games. 

Palenfo, the 74-year old who is also a top military General in his native Ivory Coast, has led ANOCA since 2005, having been elected unopposed for a third term in office in 2013.

Although he has been praised for progress made in Africa, he has also faced challenges, including during last year's Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Bangkok, where problems over the running of the All-Africa Games and the closure of Africa House at the London 2012 Olympic Games were criticised.

But, with little more than three months to go until the start of this year's Games in Brazzaville, ANOCA are working hard to ensure they, rather the Government-orientated African Union Sport Council, assume control of the Games at future editions,

This was one item on the Agenda in São Tomé, while a green light was also to the Beach Games, a continental-wide event that has already seen much success in Asia since it was first held in Bali. 

Palenfo was a guest of the Olympic Council of Asia at the most recent Asian Beach Games in Phuket last November, and told insidethegames then that he was confident a similar event would soon be held on his continent.

Beach volleyball is one sport bound to feature at the first African Beach Games
Beach volleyball is one sport bound to feature at the first African Beach Games ©ANOCA

Few concrete details have been given, with no word yet on when or where an inaugural event will take place, but in a message on the ANOCA website, it was hailed as a "major decision" aimed at promoting beach sports by "encouraging African youths to take interest in them".

Beach football, beach volleyball and beach badminton in a "single venue and at the same period" have been mentioned so far as possible sports.

"ANOCA has scored a strong point with the creation of these games," it was added.

"First of all, it is a good thing for the coastal regions of Africa.

"In fact, the continent is surrounded by vast expanses of water: the Mediterranean in the north, the Atlantic in the west, the Indian Ocean in the east, and the Red Sea in the northeast.

"Secondly, this event will fill a void, as the continent previously had no beach sports event.

"The time was thus right for Africa to have such a recreational event for its youth."

During the meeting, an update was also given on preparations for the next edition of the African Youth Games, due to take place in Algiers in 2018.

Publishing house Jeune Afrique Group have been confirmed as the organisation's events management partner for the Africa Village at Rio 2016.

The next ANOCA Executive Committee Ordinary Session meeting is due to take place in November in Mauritius, it was confirmed.

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