Late last month cycling federations from 26 African nations took part in the Congress of the African Cycling Confederation (ACC) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
UCI President Pat McQuaid welcomed the record number of African delegations present at the Congress and encouraged them to do more to increase the number of riders in the UCI Africa Tour and continental championships.
Africa has been an area the UCI has attempted to focus its development efforts on during the past five years. Thus far the results have not been as rapid as hoped, although races such as the Tour du Burkina Faso – organised by Amaury Sport Organisation – have helped in raising the profile of cycling on that continent.
Nations such as Ghana, a country better known for producing footballers plying their trade in some of Europe's biggest leagues, are taking steps to increasing the exposure of cycling to its citizens.
Last year, the Ghana Cycling Association and the National Sports Council organised the country's national championships; compared to established cycling nations the titles were a small affair – 64 cyclists from across Ghana competed over a distance of 78km, with Emmanuel Amoako taking the crown. It's a start, however, and the African Cycling Confederation is looking to develop this base.
Head of the African National Federations, Ms. Dominique Raymond, participated in the Congress, explaining upon which principles the subsidy to Continental Confederations is based, and provided information on the contributions of the National Federations and the Solidarity Fund for new projects.
The President of the ACC, Dr. Wagih Azam, was re-elected for another term of four years, while the following members were elected to the Steering Committee of the CWC: Adel Aboshawashi (Libya), Expenditio Chipsaha Chipalo (Zambia), Eugène Die Kacou (Ivory Coast), Thomas Eya'A (Gabon), Jamel Louafi Mohamed (Tunisia), Abdelhaled Khaldoun (Mauritius), Julius Mwangi (Kenya) and Michel Thioub (Senegal).