The African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 is set to go for elections on Friday 27 November 2020. The elections are meant to usher in a new Region 5 Secretariat which will conduct business on behalf of the organisation’s Executive Committee for the next four years. The last elections were held in Swakopmund, Namibia on 5 November 2016.
The ten Region 5 Member Countries take to the poll on 27 November 2020 to choose a new team of Secretariat. The Region 5 Secretariat comprises of a Chairperson and Vice, Chairpersons of the Sports Development Technical Commission and Finance and Marketing Commission as well as the Chief Executive Committee. Only the position of the Chief Executive Officer responsible for Constitutional duties of the Secretary General is not contested in an election as it is an appointed position. Currently, Dr. Vetumbuavi Veii of Namibia holds the position of Chairperson with Malawian George Jana serving as the Vice Chairperson. Dr. Antonio Gomes of Angola is the current Chairperson of the Sports Development Technical Commission while Mr. Lawrence Mthethwa of Eswatini is serving as the Chairperson of the Finance and Marketing Commission. Stanley Mutoya from Zimbabwe is the Chief Executive Officer.
All four positions on the Secretariat are up for grabs. Dr. Veii and George Jana are however no longer eligible to stand as they have served for the stipulated three terms in accordance with the AUSC Region 5 Constitution.
Member Countries have up to Thursday 19 November 2020 to submit their nominations to contest in the elections. The nomination includes completing a nomination form which will be accompanied by a curriculum vitae and letter of support from the Minister responsible for sport in the incumbent’s respective country. The nominating country is expected to be a fully subscribed Member State in good standing with the AUSC Region 5. According to Article 24 of the AUSC Region 5 Constitution, nominees must be a person involved with sport in their country holding a senior position including but not limited to a Director of sport, Chairperson of a Sports Council/Commission or his or equivalent and Chief Executive Officer of the Sports Council/Commission or his or her equivalent.
The Secretariat reports to the Council of Ministers on behalf of the Executive Committee. All Ministers responsible for sport in the ten AUSC Region 5 Member Countries form the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers is the policy making body and responsible authority for the AUSC Region 5 and is part of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee of Ministers of Youth Culture and Sport (STC-YCS). The Council of Ministers meets once every two years in its Ordinary Sessions while key decisions are made on behalf of the Council by a Troika on Ministers in between Council meetings. The Troika is currently made up of Lesotho Minister of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation, Honourable Likeleli Tampane, Malawi Minister of Youth and Sport, Honourable Ulemu Msungama and Botswana Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, honourable Tumiso Rakgare.
Speaking on the upcoming elections, the AUSC Region 5 Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Mutoya said, “Like any organisation that respects the tenets of good governance, AUSC Region 5 has had its elections in accordance with its foundation documents with religious consistency”. Mutoya said, this was one of the reasons AUSC region 5 has distinguished itself as a respectable organisation in Africa and globally. “The Secretariat is a critical organ of the current Region 5 structure as it is responsible for causing effect to the decisions of the Council of Ministers and the Executive Committee”, Mutoya said.
According to the AUSC Region 5 meeting rotation, Mozambique is set to host the meeting in November 2020 after having failed to host such a meeting in May 2020 due to Covid- 19 induced travel restrictions. The May 2020 meeting was eventually held on virtual platform. It was going to be Eswatini’s turn to host the November 2020 meeting. However, due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mozambique will now host the elective Executive Committee meeting in November while Eswatini will shift to host the May 2021 meeting. The Region 5 Executive Committee meets twice a year, in May and November of every year.