11th All Africa Games Off To Flying Start

11th All Africa Games Off To Flying Start

By Sab Osuji in Brazzaville, photo by Ganiyu Yusuf:

Congo Brzzaville President, Denis Sassou Nguesso Friday officially declared the 11th All Africa Games Congo Brazzaville 2015 open amidst pomp and pageantry.

The historic event took place at the 60,000 capacity Stade de I'Unite Stadium, Kintele Sports Complex with presidents and representatives of various African countries in attendance.

Prominent among the African leaders present include Gabonese President, as well as African Union Commission President, Kossazama Zouma.

The event started with a role call of the games ambassadors which included Ghana born French international, Marcel Dessailly.

Moma Abel, a Congolese musician living in France thrilled the audience with a melodious rendition of Congolese national anthem.

Issabel,  a Congolese bronze medal winner in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was also recognizrd as one of the ambssadors of the 11th All Africa Games.

Mrs Zouma traced the history of the All Africa Games, stressing that it was historic for an event that started in Congo in 1965 to find its root back to the nation.

"29 countries comprising 2,500 athletes took part in the first All African here in 1965.

"But today, more than 40 countries are taking part in the 11th edition still here in Congo", Mrs Zouma acknowledged.

"I must say kudos to the orgnising committee led by Lieon Alfred Opimba, the Congo Minister for sports and physical education.

"African time has come, no matter who wins at the end, that does not count, we're all winners", Mrs Zouma said.

Her captivating address was followed up by President Nguesso's short speech and official declartion of the 14-day fiesta open.

Highlight of the ocassion was the official handing over of the 11th All Africa Games' Flag to the Mayor of Brazzaville, Hugues Ngouelondele by the African Union Commission President, Kossazama Zouma after which cultural dances took over.