ASA President

The African Seniors Athletics Championships have always been an ideal opportunity to meet and share experiences between all members of the great family of African athletics at all levels of responsibility and in all areas of activities necessary for the development of our sport on the continent.

I would therefore like to express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the entire Rainbow Nation, for this concern, shown to the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) and the entire athletics family that it represents, by accepting to host this important event of our sports agenda. Our gratitude also goes to the authorities of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, the Mayor of Durban and the South African Athletics Federation, for all the efforts carried out to ensure the success of this 20th edition of our African Seniors Athletics Championships.

While wishing you all a warm welcome in this beautiful city of Durban, host of this edition of our 2016 Senior Championships, I would like to emphasize that this is the second time that we are visiting Durban, in the framework of the same event, after the 9th edition held in 1993, more precisely from 23 to 27 June, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Time has passed since then and our championships, over the time, have gained in maturity, expertise, experience and quality. These advances have been possible thanks to our common will and our collective determination to hoist African athletics to the heights of excellence, while consolidating our achievements and constantly questioning ourselves in the prospect of a continuous improvement and a regular innovation.

All these considerations have allowed our Confederation to ensure the programming of all its major continental competitions until 2020 and to connect Africa to the Diamond League. We were able, through this rich background, in the framework of this rewarding and very challenging sports adventure, to demonstrate the undeniable role of our institution in the effective mingling of our people, in the transcendence of cultural and language barriers that characterize our continent and especially in strengthening the unity of Africa.

As the current environment of world athletics requires us to take our responsibilities and take care of ourselves in order to better exploit and protect the immense athletic potential of our continent, I would like to seize this opportunity to seek the support of African governments, public and private, continental, political, economic and social institutions, of our member federations, sponsors and the media, so that they adhere to our vision, becoming themselves major players in the implementation of these changes.

Thus, for a decade, from Mauritius in 2006 to Durban in 2016, our sport has further strengthened its presence both on the African and world scenes, through the achievement of sports performances of high quality by our athletes and with adequate representation our human resources in all areas of decision-making and governance in world athletics.

That shows you the exceptionally high level of expectations for this edition of Durban 2016, where our athletes will have the opportunity to compete to provide us with a great quality show, at the level of their talents, focused on the upcoming Olympic Games of Rio 2016.

May the celebration be wonderful!

Confederation of African Athletics President