General Assembly 2016 – Early in December 2016, the African rugby fraternity met in Kasane, in the North of Botswana. From Monday, November 28th till Sunday, December 4th, Rugby Africa thus gathered under the burning sun of Southern Africa.
The staff opened the ball for the first two days. Grateful for this opportunity to see each other again, Coralie van den Berg, Adama Bakhoum, Denver Wannies, Berthin Rafalimanana, David Baird-Smith, Charles Yapo, Johnbosco Muamba, Mostafa Jelti and Lola Barthés were able to discuss and plan the future. Each of them also assessed their activities for 2016, their achievements and challenges. In this, they were assisted by Khaled Babbou, Rugby Africa’s executive member, Morgan Buckley head of development for World Rugby and Jock Peggie, training and education manager for World Rugby.
On Thursday, the Executive Committee held its end of the year meeting. New team members were officially introduced : Johnbosco Muamba, Regional Development Officer – Southern zone and Steph Nel, Rugby Service Manager in Africa – World Rugby. The important points for the 2017 season were discussed in depth. Abdelaziz Bougja, Dave Gilbert, Mervin Green, Marcellin Zahui, Colleen de Jong, Guedel N’ Diaye, Khaled Babbou and Bradley Basson spent half a day planning for the future of rugby in Africa.
Friday, all the delegations of the African unions participated in a strategic workshop. Governance and administration as well as Get Into Rugby and Long term Player development pathway were the topics of the discussion. The day was concluded by a presentation of the 2017 competitions format by Rugby Africa’s President Abdelaziz Bougja. The delegates reconvened on Saturday morning for Rugby Africa’s Ordinary General Assembly which was officially opened by the Kgosi of Kasane and the deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Botswana.
During this meeting, the big decisions were undoubtedly the welcome of three new members :
Algeria and Lesotho are full members of the association while Gabon is affiliated from now on.
To conclude the General Assembly, Rugby Africa organized an Awards ceremony to close the 2016 season.
Dave Gilbert and Botswana Rugby Union received the Hospitality price.
Uganda Rugby Union received the price for Passion for their best progress made in 2016 for Women’s sevens & Men’s fifteen and sevens.
The prize for Solidarity was attributed to the Rwanda Rugby Union for the unfailing support to Erick Situma, his family and Rugby Africa.
Tunisia Rugby Union were recognized under the Respect prize for their innovative use of the Get Into Rugby program in youth detention centers.
And finally, Khaled Babbou received the prize for Discipline for his « we exchanged our referees » program.