Dakar - Senegal — The 5th ECOWAS African Wrestling Tournament taking place in Dakar, Senegal from 12th to 14th July, 2012, will feature wrestlers from 13 of the 15 ECOWAS Member States in five weight categories - 66kg, 76kg, 86kg, 100kg and 100kg - as well as country teams. The competition is one of the two regional wrestling tournaments organized annually by the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC), based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The Dakar tournament is organized in collaboration with Senegal's National Committee for the Management of Wrestling, an agency of the Sports Ministry, while the 8th Edition of the second regional event, the ECOWAS Traditional Wrestling Tournament (TOLAC), organized in collaboration with Niger Republic, took place in the nation's capital Niamey, last April. The Director of the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, Mr. Francis Njoaguani, said the competitions are organized within the context of executing the decision of regional leaders adopting African wrestling as an official sport of the Community, and popularizing it to achieve Olympic Games status.
The sport has been recognized by the African Union and is one of the events featuring in the next Francophonie Games. The Senegalese Minister of Youth and Sports will officially open the tournament at Dakar's Iba Marr Diop Stadium, while the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop, will represent the President of the ECOWAS Commission at the ceremony.