Dakar 2022 takes important steps towards the first Youth Olympic Games ever organised in Africa

Dakar 2022 held discussions with representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission on its first visit to the Senegalese capital since the city was awarded the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Dakar, Senegal, was selected as host by the IOC just over one year ago, based on its vision to create a transformative project, shining a global light on the emergence of the country and the continent and putting young people at the forefront of its strategic planning.

During a three-day visit, which concluded today, the IOC and Dakar 2022 comprehensively reviewed all aspects of the preparations. Highlights included the presentation by a specific working group of the ideas that will enable the delivery of the vision, mission and objectives, along with an ambitious legacy plan to ensure the YOG will benefit the city, the country and the whole continent long after the Games conclude.

In line with the “Senegal Emerging Plan” drawn up by the Senegalese government, Dakar 2022 aims to not only put Senegal on the global map for international sporting events, but also showcase the best of Africa, blazing the trail for future initiatives on the continent.

Detailed planning is well underway as part of a co-constructive Edition Plan, a new way of working inspired by the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 and New Norm, whereby the local team works in close partnership with the IOC teams to create a joint roadmap until Games time, and builds several concepts of plans and operations for the selected sites, while benefiting from the knowledge and systems in place from previous YOG.

The Coordination Commission members were particularly impressed with the level of preparation and detail in the planning of every task on the project so far.

The site tour included visits to two of the three competition locations, including Dakar city centre and the futuristic Diamniadio district, which is planned to host close to one-third of the sports on the programme and will be the location of the athletes’ village (YOV), which is being built as future student housing. Ground has already been broken on the YOV, with the build underway and on track. Several YOG events will also take place in the city of Saly, whose representatives attended the three-day meeting.

With sustainability at the heart of the YOG and the use of as many existing sites as possible, the IOC praised the quality of venues and the detailed planning in place for some renovations that will provide for a youth-driven, exciting and urban sports programme. Dakar 2022 also highlighted its plan to rely on public transport and railways as much as possible for all participants.  

IOC member in Morocco and member of the Dakar 2022 Coordination Commission Nawal El Moutawakel said: “It is truly invigorating to see the first Olympic event in Africa take shape in front of us. All the teams here have made solid progress towards their goal to showcase a modern and dynamic Senegal through the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022.”

“After this first visit, we are confident that the very close cooperation between Dakar 2022, the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Committee of Senegal [CNOSS], the cities of Dakar, Diamniadio and Saly, the national sports federations and the IOC teams will lead to the delivery of a unique Olympic experience, not only for all the young athletes participating, but also for Senegal and Africa. We also appreciate the strong support of President Macky Sall,” she added.

Ibrahima Wade, Dakar 2022 General Coordinator, said: “We were delighted to share with the members of the IOC Coordination Commission the results of all the work that has been achieved over the past 12 months, as part of a co-construction approach between the IOC teams and those of the CNOSS and Dakar 2022.”

“We have made significant progress in the preparation of the YOG Dakar 2022, and the satisfaction expressed by the Commission members at the end of their visit will encourage us to carry on our work,” he added.

In addition to laying out key milestones and the framework for the structure of the Organising Committee, which will now be expanded, Dakar 2022 also outlined the support it has in place from government at all levels which will be fundamental to the success of the Games, as well as working groups made up of over 100 individuals involved in the project.

Welcoming the members of the Coordination Commission, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President of the CNOSS and an IOC member, recalled that “in keeping with the spirit of partnership and collaboration, Dakar 2022 has also recently signed several collaboration agreements with, amongst others, Paris 2024 and the French Agency of Development (AFD), around areas of co-construction and knowledge-sharing to mutually benefit from each edition of the Games.”

“I very much appreciated the co-construction approach with the IOC, and we agreed together to make this spirit of partnership prevail throughout the Dakar 2022 project management process,” he continued.


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