THE annual general meeting (AGM) of Africa Rugby is here, 18 March. I’m a candidate, I have submitted my nomination.
And it’s one thing to submit your nomination and another thing to have a team. I’m pleased to announce that following the Accra Accord and following the Abidjan Accord, the members of my team would be as follows: my vice-president Elvis (Tano Oi Tano Elvis Marcel Modeste), president of Ivorian rugby, a gentleman who is full of enthusiasm and who I have great confidence in.
We have with us as well, treasurer, Herman (Mbonyo Lihumba) from the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as a politician, someone who is keen on the minor detail – a Pan-Africanist, Africa for Africans, now and always.
We are also blessed to have on the team, Adama (Bakhoum of Senegal). He stands tall. Adama is somebody whom everybody knows. He will bring a change when you look at competitions, when you look at planning and communicating with all the countries that want to play rugby, that haven’t been playing rugby, countries that demand competitions as a way forward.
Also as part of the team, we have two ladies, and as you know constitutionally we must. We have Paula (Lanco from Burundi), who we have a long relationship with, on the board of Ex-Co. Again, somebody whose attention to detail is well renowned. And we have Rolande (Boro), who has taken Burkina Faso Rugby to new lengths and to new heights.
These are the people we started with, and everybody recognises that part of the team. In addition to the team, we have an extraordinary, an experienced businessman from Tunisia, a man of principle, and a man who will bring a lot of respect to the Ex-Co board, Aref Belkhira.
In addition to Aref, we have Marcel (Joseph Rakotomalala), from Madagascar. From the forgotten part of Africa, but how can you forget, one of the best rugby nations, certainly a nation that has more attendances, more loyalty in terms of supporters to the game and we saw their ladies making their maiden appearance at the World Cup Sevens. We will be working together strongly.
And my old friend Sean (Irish), put up his hand early. Botswana may not be as big as some of the huge countries around, but they provide something with a difference, and that’s a thing that has always been critical in the way we go.
We have been dealing with Kenya, it’s one of the countries we have been associated with, and we are glad. And there has been a number of chances as we move across the time. And we shouldn’t forget that constitutionally we deal with South Africa and that is in this case Jurie Roux, who is the general secretary of Africa Rugby, an extraordinary gentleman.
And I hope he stays with us for quite some time. Very much so. We have quite for a long period been speaking to a number of people, and I think we have Uganda on the fringes. We as a team are looking at restructuring, decentralising. We are looking at regional presidents that will bring about change.
In the committees we have set up, we haven’t forgotten the smaller nations; the Burundis of this world will not be excluded. Hopefully, this is a team that will form the basis for where we go.
Hopefully, we will be voted in on March the 18th.
*Guest columnist Ghana’s Herbert Mensah is running for the presidency of Africa Rugby at an elective AGM in Cape Town on 18 March. This column is a verbatim transcript sent to us. We have extended a similar invitation to the other candidates to appear on this column ahead of the elective AGM.