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AIPS President Merlo stresses importance of unity as AIPS Africa prepares to enter new phase at Dakar Congress

AIPS President Gianni Merlo is a guest of honour at the 7th AIPS Africa Congress, which is being held in Dakar from 23 to 25 February 2023. During the opening ceremony of the event, Merlo reminded African colleagues of the need to make changes to ensure a brighter future for sports journalism.

“We are here to discuss the future of our profession. The world is developing; the possibility of change is a sign of revolution. In the work we do, we have to make changes. Sports journalism is more important than we think. It is a mine of culture,” AIPS president stated in front of 100 people from Senegal and 20 other African countries.

With the departure of former president Obi Mitchell, AIPS Africa is entering a new phase of its history with young aspirants who are visibly very committed to serving the association at the continental level. A dynamic welcomed by President Gianni who nevertheless insisted on the importance of unity to save the profession.

“With corruption, match fixing, doping and fake news, people are trying to destroy our world. We have to defend ourselves, and our common goal, which is to defend our dignity. And to do so, unity must prevail. I have taken this direction, and together we will continue to fight for our independence and for the truth. We must be determined to keep sport clean,” Merlo said.

The Senegalese Minister of Sport Yankoba Diattara also noted the essential role of the press in the development of sport. “The media and sport have become inseparable. Without the press, sport is a shadow of itself. The press has greatly contributed to facilitating the transmission of knowledge and the sharing of ideas,” Senegalese sport Minister said.

Diattara also paid tribute to the African sports press and praised Senegal’s strong commitment to the dynamics of AIPS Africa, which is hosting the congress for the second time after 2013.

This first day of the Congress was also marked by presentations on the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026, by Ibrahima Wade, president of the organising committee, on the use of local expertise within national teams by Coach Aliou Cissé who won the last AFCON with the Senegalese team. Lux September, Head of CAF media office also a presentation on the progress made by CAF and its relationship with the media.

The AIPS Africa Congress will result in the election of a new board. The elections are scheduled for tomorrow.

Credit: AIPS

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