The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Zone II will re-open in December 2015, it has been announced, with an international taekwondo tournament in Mali’s capital Bamako, the first sporting event to be held there following the Ebola crisis.
The decision was made during a meeting of the Executive Bureau of ANOCA Zone II in Senegal's capital Dakar and was revealed by the Zone’s secretary general Seydina Oumar Diagne.
The taekwondo tournament is due to be one of the activities to mark the re-opening of the Zone, with other events including Amilcar Cabral Cup, a football tournament for the Western African nations which has not been held since 2007.
It is also hoped that wrestling, tennis and basketball competitions will be staged there following the re-opening.
The announcement comes as part of an agreement for a new headquarters in the region signed by ANOCA Zone II with the Malian authorities and includes provisions relating to funding of the office.
Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) President Alhagie Momodou M. Dibba also revealed one of the prime objectives of the Executive Bureau was to revive all competitions that had existed in the region in the past.
The Zone itself comprises Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania Cape Verde and Liberia, some of the countries which have been worst-hit by the Ebola virus.
According to the Centre for the Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 13,209 cases in Sierra Leone, leading to nearly 4,000 deaths.
That figure is also high in Guinea, where the outbreak of Ebola surfaced in December 2013, with 2,509 deaths as a result of 3,770 cases.
Liberia has been the most affected by the disease as it has killed nearly 5,000 people, and there have been a reported 10,673 cases in the country.
The virus had wide-ranging effects on African sport, most notably the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, which Morocco refused to host due to the fears concerning the disease.
Equatorial Guinea stepped in to stage the tournament as a late replacement for the North African country.
May 2015: Liberia National Olympic Committee hoping to lead sporting recovery from Ebola
February 2015: IOC working alongside Ebola-hit NOCs to help combat virus
November 2014: Sport must unite to raise awareness of Ebola danger, claims ANOCA chief
October 2014: Proposed Sierra Leone NOC headquarters site set to become Ebola hospital
August 2014: Liberia withdraw and three athletes barred from competing as Nanjing 2014 Ebola fear rises