- The plan intends on growing the AUSC Region 5 brand to the market
- Calls for support from President Khama and other Heads of states
Counci of Ministers Chairperson of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC) Ana Paula Da Sliva Do Sacramento Neto has revealed the commercialisation drive policy, which intends to grow the council’s brand to the world.
AUSC Region 5 , which serves as the sports arm of the African Union (AU), has ten (10) member states being; Angola, Botswana Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The council’s aim is to use sports to achieve peace, integration and unity in Africa i.e. sport as a vehicle of encouraging people to develop and come together, irrespective of colour, economic status, political, class, or gender.
In December 2016, Botswana was announced as the host of the next edition (2018) of the Region 5 games, taking over from Angola. As per condition of the rights to host these games, the country would also host as series of high delegation meetings in the build up to the actual event.
Fresh after fielding more than 130 delegates for the World Softball & Baseball Congress (WSBC) in October, this past week, the region’s Sports Ministers gathered in Gaborone to discuss ways of improving sports in the SADC zone, in a meeting also attended by President Ian Khama.
During his speech, the Ministers Chairperson, Neto (who also serves as Angola’s Sports Minister), revealed how they “ambitiously” plan to grow region 5 into the best in the African continent.
“Our Region is embarking on a massive commercialisation drive in order to exploit the commercial value of its products and services. This drive is aggressive in exhibiting the Region 5 brand to the market,” said Chairperson Neto.
She, however noted that this drive can only succeed through full support of the Region’s Heads of States. “We beg your esteemed indulgence, your Excellency, with the your counterparts as Heads of State, to support our efforts to engage big economic players in the various Member Countries to contribute towards our ambitious goals,” she carried on.
“We need in the long term to establish a stand-alone Headquarters “Region 5 House” which will serve as our Regional nerve centre that houses our Regional Confederations and host all our Regional events and activities without rotating in Member Countries. We are losing a lot of money through hiring hotel conference facilities. The Region 5 House will therefore include a state of the art conference facility which could generate revenue for the Region. This plan requires support and we rely on you, Your Excellency to be our champion and Goodwill Ambassador to spearhead and convince your counterparts to embrace the idea,” gave added Angola Sport Minister.
In giving his address, President Khama pointed out how important hosting the Ministers Meeting came at a right time, where sports is proving to be part and parcel of the social fabric for societies, especially in developing countries such as Botswana.
“The convening of this gathering is indeed very timely because as you may already be aware,sport has in recent times been increasingly and rightly so, become part and parcel of the social fabric of our society, especially for us in developing countries. In thus continues to play a critical role in our human development and nation building efforts. As a country, we endeavour to use sport as a tool for transforming the lives of our people, regardless of age and gender,” said Khama.
He also encouraged the Ministers Council to move from engaging international sports consultants, whilst the Region has eminently trained and qualified professionals for that regard.