ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf, third from right, arrived in Abuja ©Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development

Nigeria has hosted the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa’s (ANOCA) 40th anniversary celebrations at the organisation’s headquarters in Abuja.

ANOCA was founded on June 28 in 1981, with the organsiation’s first meeting taking place in Lomé in Togo.

The organisation is headquartered in Abuja, with an inauguration held in 2019 before offices officially opening in 2020.

Nigerian Sports Minister Sunday Dare was present for the inauguration and is coordinating the latest meeting.

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has said fellow Sports Ministers are among those in attendance.

This includes Algeria’s Abderezak Sebgag, Egypt’s Ashraf Sobhi, Ghana’s Mustapha Ussif and Amina Mohamed of Kenya.

The Presidents of 54 ANOCA members are also attending the meeting.

The meeting began yesterday and will continue until Thursday (September 30).

"This celebration is coordinated and organised with the supervision of Honorable Minister Sunday Dare and will witness, on one hand, a gathering of the great family of African Sports and, on the other hand, a meeting of the enlarged ANOCA Executive Committee," the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development said.

"The main objective of ANOCA is based on the principles of solidarity and harmony in line with the provisions of the Olympic Charter

"Other guests expected to grace this gathering are members of the International Olympic Committee which will include Dr. Filemona Fortes from Cape Verde, Mme Odette Assembe of Cameroon, Mme Aicha Garad of Djibouti, Dr. Felicite Wemarika of Rwanda and host of others.

"Presidents of International Sports Federations will not be left out of the event with the likes of Ricardo Fraccari of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, Hassan Moustafa of International Handball Federation and Morinari Watanabe of International Federation of Gymnastics sure to attend."

Eliud Kipchoge will be one of 12 African medallists at Tokyo 2020 honoured by ANOCA ©Getty Images
Eliud Kipchoge will be one of 12 African medallists at Tokyo 2020 honoured by ANOCA ©Getty Images

The Daily Trust, a newspaper based in Abuja, reported that 12 African medallists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be honoured during the celebrations.

All but one earned a gold medal at the Games, including Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Ayoub Hafnaoui and Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge.

Fellow Kenyan athletes Emmanuel Korir, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon and Peres Jepchirchir will be honoured following their triumphs in the Japanese capital.

Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei and Peruth Chemutai are also track stars to have their achievements celebrated, along with South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker, Egyptian karate gold medallist Feryal Abdelaziz, Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega and Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali.

Nigeria freestyle wrestler Blessing Oborududu, who won a silver medal at Tokyo 2020, will also be honoured.