29 Mar 2017

A meeting of the East Africa countries staged earlier in the year in Nairobi; on Friday 24th March it was the turn of the Central African Region.

Chaired by Alfred Assobo Bagueka, the President of the Cameroon Table Tennis Federation and with Khaled El-Salhy, the President of the African Table Tennis Federation, in attendance; the venue for the gathering was the Henri Elende Gymnasium in Brazzaville.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

In addition to Cameroon and the host Congo Brazzaville; representatives from Congo Democratic and Gabon attended; as did the Ivory Coast’s Berthe Bakhary, the Vice President Finance of the African Table Tennis Federation.

St. Mathieu Muana Mbuta, the President of the Congo Democratic Table Tennis Federation was elected Secretary-General; Jean-Marie Okouna Olandzobo, the President of the Congo Democratic Table Tennis Federation, was named a member of the regional executive.

“Training programmes for the various development projects will now be planned at regional office level with a view to rotation and taking into account the real needs of the region. Each activity organized in one of the countries of the region will be open to all member countries. It is Congo Brazzaville that will house the training, scheduled for this year in the region. Regional programming is required for the next four years”. Alfred Assobo Bagueka

Co-operation is a key to success; certainly that aspect is very much at the heart of Alfred Assobo Bagueka. Also in the field of co-operation there is support from the ITTF Development Programme with Stag and Butterfly.

“Helping development activities in different countries is supported by Stag; the organization of an international competition and is supported by Butterfly. The novelty is that this sponsorship programme is no longer restricted to competitions under ITTF and ITTF-Africa. It now extends to competitions organized by the regions. The donation of equipment is on a rotational basis; Equatorial Guinea is the beneficiary this year. In this framework, the country will receive a package of equipment from Stag; six tables, six nets and post sets, six scorers, 80 rackets and eight packs of balls.” Alfred Assobo Bagueka

Khalef El-Salhy (left) with (right) Jean-Marie Okouna Olandzobo in Brazzaville (Photo: courtesy of Olalekan Okusan)

Furthermore, the delegates agreed that as a result of the new restructuring of the region, a new logo adopted, a regional competition should be organized each year and serve as a qualifying event for the Africa Top 16 Cup. It was also agreed, in order to reduce costs, that the senior competition should be organised biennially and alternate with the cadet and junior tournament.

In each instance the host country will receive from ITTF-Africa a contribution of US$ 3,000.00 and the Stag equipment package.

“This new vision of the table tennis development programme in Africa aims to foster, throughout each region, the organization of sub-regional competitions and to increase activities in different fields, including competitions, training of coaches, referees and athletes”, Khaled El-Salhy

Matters concluded with the agreement that Congo Brazzaville will stage a qualification tournament later this year for the 2018 Top 16; whilst, as Equatorial Guinea will host the 2019 African Games, it was recommended the country should organize at least one competition before the event.

The delegates are due to meet again in Tunis at the forthcoming 2017 ITTF-Africa Junior and Cadet Championships.

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