Rwanda hosts successful fourth FIA Sport Regional Congress Africa

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More than 60 participants representing 19 ASNs attend the fourth edition of the African Congress, held in the capital city of Kigali


The FIA and representatives from its national sporting authorities (ASNs) in Africa assembled in Kigali, Rwanda, this week (23-25 August) for the fourth edition of the FIA Sport Regional Congress held in the region.

The Congress was hosted for the first time by the Rwanda Automobile Club, under the umbrella of the FIA. Leading the Congress, FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, President of the Rwanda Automobile Club Christian R. Gakwaya, and Vice-President of FIA Sport for Africa Surinder Thatthi.

“It has been extremely pleasing to witness such a successful fourth edition of the FIA Sport Regional Congress in Africa,” said President Todt.

“I would like to thank Christian R. Gakwaya, President of the Rwanda Automobile Club, for kindly hosting the Congress in this beautiful country, and for the wonderful hospitality extended to the ASN delegations. The organisation of the programme and activities has been exceptional, creating the perfect opportunity for the delegates to come together and prioritise development in the region.”

The programme at the Congress included sessions on ASN governance and management, safety and wider motor sport development, all organised under the leadership of the FIA’s ASN Development Task Force presided over by Andrew Papadopoulos.

The Africa Congress also saw a display of exciting motor sport development initiatives – Cross Car and Karting – aimed at regenerating grassroots activity in Rwanda and in all countries across the region. Each delegate was invited to take part in a demonstration of the disciplines, held in front of a crowd of motor sport fans and against the striking backdrop of the capital city. It is hoped that these disciplines will help to increase the overall number of license holders over the next five years.

Todt continued: “Africa has written some of the most captivating chapters in motor sport history. The FIA family here is strong and resilient, and nowhere is this more evident than in Rwanda, which has emerged from an extremely challenging period and started to address the future with confidence and fortitude.

“Many of the disciplines that African motor sport was synonymous with, which sadly disappeared for a time, are gradually returning. We will welcome the return of World Rallycross to Cape Town in November, and the Safari Rally has become an official World Rally Championship candidate event for 2019.

“As is the case across all regions, the future is in the hands of the next generation and it is through grassroots motorsport that we must seize the opportunity to build even more compelling chapters for Africa, to ensure that affordable and sustainable motor sport can continue to flourish here.”

“I must also commend the work of the African member clubs in supporting the FIA in its road safety initiatives. Africa is a priority territory and I am extremely pleased that the #3500Lives campaign has now been implemented in 16 countries in the region.”

In closing, President Todt said: “What I have witnessed here this week in terms of Rwanda’s progression has been nothing short of remarkable. We must work hard to maintain this impetus and we commit the strong support of the FIA to assist the dedicated member clubs here in Africa to achieve their ambitions for the region, for there is no shortage of passion and determination to do so.”