South Africa's Silvino Francisco has been one of the top players to have emerged from Africa ©ABSC

African Billiards and Snooker Confederation (ABSC) have announced snooker will be included on the programme for this year’s African Games in Morocco.

The decision was hailed as a landmark development for the sport in the region, with snooker set to be one of 26 sports featuring at this year’s Games.

The ABSC claim the inclusion of snooker as a medal event at the Games follows significant work by the organisation, in particular its President Mohammed El-Kammah.

"It is a dream that came true," said El-Kammah.

"Only 26 sports will be included in the African games and snooker is one of them.

"Africa is a big continent and being in the African Games will create opportunities for every company working in the cue sports business.

"Players in Africa will be recognised for their achievement and probably talented players will be able to find sponsors and earn money.

"My next stop will be the Mediterranean Games and with the cooperation of my good friend Mr. Jason Ferguson, we will make it."

The ABSC have confirmed their member nations will be able to nominate players to compete at the African Games, due to take place from August 20 to September 1 in Casablanca and Rabat.

The continental body have called for non-member nations to become members of the ABSC to enable as many people the chance to compete at the Games.

"Any true global sport should reach out to every corner of the word to create opportunities for all," said Jason Ferguson, World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) chairman.

"This is the true meaning of sport and is a further demonstration of development in cooperation with the WPBSA Group and the World Snooker Federation membership.

"Africa as a region has always made a significant contribution to snooker and this will help to develop opportunities for funding which will help aspiring players across the continent.

"I would like to offer my profound gratitude to my friend Mohammed El-Kammah for his lifetime of work that has helped to make this possible."

South Africa’s Perrie Mans, Silvino Francisco and his nephew Peter are among the leading players to have emerged from Africa.

Mans reached the final of the World Championship at the iconic Crucible Theatre back in 1978, losing 25-18 to Ray Reardon of Wales.

Silvino Francisco was a former winner of the British open, while Peter has achieved a high of 14 in the world rankings and competed at the Wroclaw 2017 World Games.

Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan is among the top African players on the professional circuit, having won the African Snooker Championship in 2017.

He nearly caused an upset against Mark Selby in the opening round of the 2017 UK Championship during his debut season before losing 6-4.

Morocco agreed to step in to stage the 2019 African Games last year following the withdrawal of Equatorial Guinea as hosts.

Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) now oversees as the main organiser after a deadlock with the African Union was broken.

ANOCA have partnered with the African Union and the Association of African Sports Confederations to operate the Games.