GAMMA: African MMA Presidents meet at African Games. GAMMA

African national federation presidents and mixed martial arts representatives met at the recent 2023 African Games in Accra for a lunch meeting hosted by Global Mixed Martial Arts Association President Alexander Engelhardt and Director General Peter Stafford.

The purpose of the meeting was not only to celebrate the achievement of having MMA included as a demonstration sport in the African Games for the first time, but also to focus on how national federations can best work together to promote and support the development and growth of MMA through knowledge sharing and mutual support on a continent facing significant economic and structural challenges.

In attendance were representatives of GAMMA member federations from: Burkina Faso, President Abraham Mano; Ivory Coast, Vice President Atse Guillaume Beda and General Secretary Leygre Tape; Ghana, President Jeff Taylor; Libya, representative Muammar Felfel; Mauritius, representative Muhamad Tawfiq Jainbocus; Nigeria, President Valentine Uzoma Morah and representative Rayan Fayad; Sierra Leone, President Saidu Sesay; Sudan, President Faisal Abubaker; Togo, President Adjele Ida Yakass and Technical Director Henry Jallah; ⁠⁠and Uganda, President Titus Tugume.

The presidents celebrated the latest achievements of MMA. GAMMA
The presidents celebrated the latest achievements of MMA. GAMMA

Jainbocus of Mauritius thanked GAMMA for creating the opportunity to participate in the African Olympic Games and noted the importance of inclusivity for national sports development. He urged his colleagues to continue to work together:: "If we do not come together to help each other, it will be difficult to get help from outside. We need to find ways of working together so that we can make the best use of our resources to take sport in Africa to another level".

Vice president Beda of Ivory Coast spoke of the obstacles and costs involved in establishing a sport. Inclusion in the Games had helped the cause with the National Director of Sport regarding the status of MMA in Ivory Coast, where the sport is officially recognised but not yet supported.

GAMMA President Engelhardt praised the dedication of the presidents and representatives of the National Federations who are the driving forces behind the development of MMA in their countries and thanked them and their National Olympic Committees for the effort and commitment to travel to the Games, especially those coming from situations of war and political turmoil at home.

All parties committed to future cooperation to build and accelerate the growth of the sport following the success of the MMA event and the opportunities given to the athletes in Accra, with the aim of participating in the 2027 African Games in Egypt.