ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf said female athletes such as Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir are highly anticipated at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) President Mustapha Berraf has called on Governments and sports organisations in the continent to do more to "promote unrestrained access by women to the world of sport".

In his message to mark International Women's Day, Berraf insisted that it was an opportunity to "put women’s rights on the map."

"Women play an incredible role in our societies," he said.

"Historically, they are key drivers of youth education and harbingers of messages of peace and solidarity."

Berraf, who has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Algeria since 2019 also paid tribute in his message to the IOC's "far-reaching modernity and gender equality programme."

His message also called on Governments in Africa to take the lead in promoting women in sport.

"The commitment of African governments is also essential to boost women's performance in sport. 

"They must take up even more responsibilities within sports governing bodies of states and Olympic organisations." 

ANOCA have set their own action plan across the 54 member nations on the continent.

ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf has called on African Governments to do more for women's sport ©Getty Images
ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf has called on African Governments to do more for women's sport ©Getty Images

He highlighted the work of ANOCA vice-president Matlohang Moiloa Ramoquopo in leading the Gender Equality Commission.

In January, ANOCA Zone 2 nations in West Africa organised a "Women and Sport" seminar in Conakry, Guinea, which focused on "promoting gender equality and inclusion in sport." 

Last year, the Kenyan National Olympic Committee had promoted a conference to make sport safer for women after the tragic death of double World Athletics bronze medallist Agnes Tirop.

"Whether as athletes, coaches, officials or administrators, women demonstrate their commitment to the promotion of sport and Olympic values," Berraf added. 

"We are well aware, and do recognise that they are at the forefront of sports successes in Africa."

Berraf ended his message by looking ahead towards the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

"Our female athletes are highly awaited at forthcoming competitions like the Paris 2024 Olympic Games that we are meticulously preparing for, and especially during the African Beach Games this year in Hammamet, Tunisia, as well as the African Games in Ghana in 2024.

"Sport is a powerful glue in this dispensation, and the feminine instinct, which is very rarely mistaken, is right in requiring sport to be an instrument of equitable representation of women in governance, where they can truly show their worth.

"That is why we urge the African and international sports community, more than ever, to promote unrestrained access by women to the world of sport. 

"We need even more women in sport in Africa."