By Duncan Mackay 

Fanie van der Merwe celebrating win 100m London 2012November 30 - A three-day workshop has started in Johannesburg for Africa's English-speaking countries to help them plan ahead for Rio 2016.

The event, which is taking place at Olympic House, the headquarters of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), is being jointly funded by the Norwegian Paralympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. 

Representatives from National Paralympic Committees (NPC) in Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as South Africa, are taking part in the event, entitled "Maintain the Momentum".

The NPCs are being encouraged to embark on strategic planning ahead of Rio following the success of London 2012, where South Africa were the most successful of the countries attending the workshop, winning a total of 28 medals, eight of them gold, including Fanie van der Merwe (pictured above), who won the 100 metres in the T37 category.

Kenya were the next most successful country with six medals, including two gold with Abraham Tarbei winning the T46 1500m, retaining the title he had won in Beijing four years ago, where he also claimed the 5,000m. 

Abraham Tarbei London 2012Abraham Tarbei took his total of Paralympic gold medals to three by retaining his 1500m title at London 2012

Key areas being covered during the workshop are building and strengthening partnerships, strategic planning, athlete and sport development, business development as well as public relations.

The purpose of the programme is to draw together NPC's and stakeholders within the Africa region to enable an understanding of the important factors that will take the region to the next stage in their development for the Paralympic Movement. 

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