Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Senegal Will Host Africa’s First Youth Olympic Games


Senegal will host the Youth Olympic Games in 2026 in what supporters hope will be the first step in proving to the world that Africa can host the Summer Olympics in the future.

Senegal will be the first African nation to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2026. The games were added to the Olympics in 2010 to give athletes ages 14 to 18 the chance to compete. 

The youth games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2018 had an Olympic Village with about 4,000 athletes from 260 countries. That contrasts with the estimated 12,000 athletes for the larger Olympics. Generally, experts say, the youth games will require about one-third of the investment needed for the Olympic Games. 

Senegal initially agreed to host the games in 2022, but COVID-19 forced postponement until 2026. 

Although Senegalese officials say they are excited and honored to make history as the first African country to host the youth games, they also understand the responsibility that comes with it.  

“There are expectations from the whole African continent, and Senegal has to organize games that would live up to the standards of previous Youth Olympics,” said Babacar Makhtar Wade, president of the Senegal Judo Federation. “And because of that, Senegal is going to make sure it’s a success and serves as a catalyst for mobilizing and engaging Senegalese youth in particular, and African youth in general.” 

Wade, who also is treasurer of the Senegal National Olympic and Sports Committee, said renovation plans are well under way.  

“We are planning to first renovate three main venues — the Iba Mar Diop Stadium, which will host track, rugby and other sports,” he said. “There’s also our Olympic pool, which needs to be renovated. It has an adjacent park, which will host a few events such as the BMX freestyle, basketball 3-on-3 and hockey games. And there is also the Caserne Samba Diery Diallo, where the equestrian-related activities will take place.”

There also will be venues in hubs outside Dakar, including a popular seaside resort that will host beach volleyball, boating and other events, and Diamniadio, site of a new 50,000-seat multipurpose stadium and other facilities.

You might also like

Comments are closed.