The African Games, formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games, are a continental multi-sport event held every four years, organized by the African Union (AU) with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC).

All of the competing nations are from the African continent. The first Games were held in 1965 in Brazzaville, Congo. The International Olympic Committee granted official recognition as a continental multi-sport event, along with the Asian Games and Pan American Games. Since 1999, the Games have also included athletes with a disability.[1]

The Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) was the organisation body for the game. On 26 July 2013, the Extraordinary Assembly of the Supreme Council for Sports held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast that was held on the sidelines of the 5th Session of the African Union Conference of Sports Ministers that started on 22 July 2013 recommended the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa and to also transfer all functions, assets & liabilities of SCSA to the African Union Commission.[2][3] The organization of the African Games is now managed by three parts, the AU (the owners of the game), the ANOCA (occupying the technical aspects) and the AASC (developing marketing policy, sponsorship and research resources).

After running previous 11 editions as the All-Africa Games, the games has been renamed the African Games. The decision for the name change was arrived at, during the Executive Council meeting of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012.[4] 54 countries were participating in the most recent edition in Morocco 2019. In 2023, the 13th edition of the game was hosted in Accra, Ghana.[5][6] It was aim to use sports for national and continental development, aligning with Ghana's transformative agenda and the African Union's Agenda 2063, "Africa We Want."[7]

History

Beginning

Modern Olympics founder Pierre de Coubertin conceived the Pan African Games as early as 1920. The colonial powers who ruled Africa at the time were wary of the idea, suspecting the unifying aspect of sport among African people would cause them to assert their independence.

Attempts were made to host the games in Algiers, Algeria in 1925 and Alexandria, Egypt in 1928, but despite considerable preparations taken by coordinators, the efforts failed. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) first African member, Greek-born Egyptian sprinter Angelo Bolanaki, donated funds to erect a stadium, but still the Games were set back for another three decades.

The Friendship Games

In the early 1960s, French-speaking countries of Africa including France organized the Friendship Games. The Games were organized by Madagascar (1960) and then Ivory Coast (1961). The third games were set for Senegal in 1963. Before they were completed, African Ministers of Youth and Sport met in Paris in 1962; as a few English-speaking countries were already participating, they rechristened the Games as the Pan African Games. The Games were granted official recognition by the IOC as being on par with other continental Games such as the Asian Games and the Pan American Games.

The games

In July 1965, the first games were held in Brazzaville, Congo, now called the All-Africa Games. From 30 countries, around 2,500 athletes competed. Egypt topped the medal count for the first Games.

In 1966, the SCSA was organized in Bamako; it manages the All-Africa Games. The second edition were awarded to Mali in 1969, but a military coup forced the cancellation of the Games. Lagos, Nigeria stepped in as host for the Games in 1971. Those Games were finally held in 1973 due to the Biafra War, which had just ended in Nigeria.

In 1977, the 3rd Games were scheduled to take place in Algeria but due to technical reasons had to be postponed for a year and were held in 1978. Continuing the pattern, the next Games were scheduled to take place in Kenya in 1983, but were pushed back to 1985 and finally took place in Nairobi in 1987.

The four-year Olympic rhythm has not missed a beat since, and the Games have been organized in Cairo, Harare, Johannesburg, and Abuja. In 2007, Algiers once again hosted, becoming the first repeat host. The 2011 edition of the All-Africa Games was held in Maputo, Mozambique in September 2011. Brazzaville hosted the 2015 edition in honor of the Games' 50th anniversary.

Participation

See also: Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa

All 53 members affiliated to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) are eligible to take part in the Games. In history, the 53 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have sent competitors to the Games.

South Africa was banned since the beginning of the games in the 1965 All-Africa Games till the 1995 All-Africa Games because Apartheid officially ended when it was invited for the first time to compete the games.

Morocco was banned from the games from the 1987 All-Africa Games to the 2015 African Games because of a political dispute over Western Sahara. Morocco claims the territory as its "Southern Provinces" and controls 80% of it while the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which claims to be a sovereign state, controls the remaining 20% as the "Free Zone". In 2018, after the Moroccan government signed its treaty of return to the African Union, the country also pledged to return to the African Games. Rabat, Morocco hosted the 2019 African Games.[8][9][10]

Editions

Games Year Host[11] Opened by Dates Nations Competitors Sports Events Top nation
Men Women Total
1 1965 Republic of the Congo Brazzaville Alphonse Massemba 18 – 28 July 30 2,500 10 54 United Arab Republic Egypt
2 1973 Nigeria Lagos Yakubu Gowon 7 – 18 January 36 12 92  Egypt
3 1978 Algeria Algiers Houari Boumediene 13 – 28 July 38 3,000 12 117  Tunisia
4 1987 Kenya Nairobi Daniel Arap Moi 1 – 12 August 41 14 164  Egypt
5 1991 Egypt Cairo Hosni Mubarak 20 September – 1 October 43 18 213  Egypt
6 1995 Zimbabwe Harare Robert Mugabe 13 – 23 September 46 6,000 19 224  South Africa
7 1999 South Africa Johannesburg Thabo Mbeki 10 – 19 September 51 6,000 20 224  South Africa
8 2003 Nigeria Abuja Olusegun Obasanjo 5 – 17 October 50 6,000 22 332  Nigeria
9 2007 Algeria Algiers Abdelaziz Bouteflika 11 – 23 July 52 4,793 27 374  Egypt
10 2011 Mozambique Maputo Armando Guebuza 3 – 18 September 53 5,000 20 244  South Africa
11 2015 Republic of the Congo Brazzaville Denis Nguesso 4 – 19 September 54 15,000 22 323  Egypt
12 2019 Morocco Rabat Prince Moulay Rachid 19 – 31 August 54 4,386 26 343  Egypt
13 2023 Ghana Accra Nana Akufo-Addo 8 – 23 March 2024 52 1,490 1,154 2,644 23 242  Egypt
14 2027 Egypt Cairo President of Egypt (expected) 20 January – 7 February Future event
15 2031 Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa President of DR Congo (expected) TBD Future event

Unofficial editions

  1. 1925 Algiers, Algeria - Not held
  2. 1928 Alexandria, Egypt - Not held
  3. 1960 African Friendship Games - Madagascar - French-speaking countries of Africa
  4. 1961 African Friendship Games - Ivory Coast - French-speaking countries of Africa
  5. 1963 African Friendship Games - Senegal - Not held

African Para Games

Main article: African Para Games

Edition Year Host city[11] Host nation Opened by Date Nations Athletes Sports Events Most gold medals
1 2023 Accra  Ghana Mustapha Ussif 3–12 September 18 400 3 7  Morocco
2 2027 Cairo  Egypt

Sports

Main article: African Games sports

35 sports, 2 demonstration sports and 6 Para sports were presented in African Games history until 2019 African Games (also 1991 Diving and 1999 Netball were demonstration).

Number Event 1965 1973 1978 1987 1991 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011 2015 2019 2023
Main Sports
1 Athletics Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 Cycling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 Gymnastics No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
4 Shooting No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes No
5 Swimming Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Boat Sports
6 Canoeing No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes No
7 Rowing No No No No No No No No Yes No No Yes No
8 Sailing No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Combat Sports
9 Arm Wrestling No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
10 Boxing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
11 Fencing No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
12 Judo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
13 Karate No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
14 Kickboxing No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No
15 Taekwondo No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
16 Wrestling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Team Sports
17 Baseball No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
18 Basketball Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
18 Beach volleyball No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
19 3x3 basketball No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes
20 Cricket No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
21 Field Hockey No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes
22 Football Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
23 Handball Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
24 Netball No No No No No No Dem No No Yes No No No
25 Rugby sevens No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
26 Softball No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
27 Volleyball Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Racquet Sports
28 Badminton No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
29 Squash No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
30 Table Tennis No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
31 Tennis Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Sports
32 Archery No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No
33 Chess No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
34 Cue Sports (Snooker) No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No
35 Diving No No No No Dem Yes No No No No No No No
36 Equestrian No No No No No No No No Yes No No Yes No
37 Petanque No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No
38 Triathlon No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes
39 Weightlifting No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Demonstration Sports
40 Esports No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
40 Mixed martial arts No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
40 Nzango No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No
41 Pharaoh Boxing No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No
40 Pickleball No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
40 Scrabble No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
40 Speed-ball No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
40 Sambo No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
42 Teqball No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
Para Sports ( from 2019 African Para Games )
43 Para Athletics No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
44 Goalball No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No
45 Para Powerlifting No No No No No No No Yes No No Yes No No
46 Para Swimming No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No
47 Para Table Tennis No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
48 Wheelchair Basketball No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No

All time Medal Table

Main article: All-time African Games medal table

50 nations have won at least a single medal in the African Games, from 54 National Olympic Committees participating throughout the history of the Games. 43 NOCs have won at least a single gold medal.[12]

No. Nation Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Egypt (EGY) 12 753 551 523 1827
2  Nigeria (NGR) 12 517 461 470 1448
3  South Africa (RSA) 7 429 393 337 1159
4  Algeria (ALG) 12 342 353 447 1142
5  Tunisia (TUN) 12 282 270 316 868
6  Kenya (KEN) 12 142 152 185 479
7  Senegal (SEN) 12 69 78 172 319
8  Ghana (GHA) 12 55 83 111 249
9  Ethiopia (ETH) 12 54 62 80 196
10  Morocco (MAR) 2 48 56 74 178

Legacy

After hearing about the Pan-African Games whilst on a business trip to Congo, Soviet Union-Armenian diplomat Ashot Melik-Shahnazaryan got the idea to create the Pan-Armenian Games.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ 9th All African Games Underway in Algeria, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  2. ^ 27/10/2011 The All Africa Games shall henceforth be organized by ANOCA and the AASC Archived November 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Confederation of African Athletics (CAA)
  3. ^ All Africa Games: Popoola hails SCSA dissolution, www.vanguardngr.com
  4. ^ "All-Africa Games now renamed "African Games"". The Guardian. NAN. September 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Graphic, Online (2024-03-11). "13th African Games open in Accra".
  6. ^ "13th African Games". www.accra2023ag.com. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  7. ^ "Aims and Objectives". www.accra2023ag.com. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  8. ^ Chanda, Davies M.M (April 15, 2018). "'We ain't ready to stage 2019 AAG'". Times of Zambia.
  9. ^ All Africa Games. FEI. Retrieved on 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Morocco To Host African Games". Around The Rings. 25 July 2018. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b ANOCA (archived)
  12. ^ "BEST sports DB - All Africa Games". bestsports.com.br. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  13. ^ Elliott, Raffi (2019-08-07). "Pan-Armenian Games Open in Show of Unity". The Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 2024-04-24.