The New Times (Kigali)

3 December 2012

Rwanda: Creation of National Sports Council Can Arrest the Rot

column

Three years ago last week, I interviewed the then Sports and Culture Minister, or the Oga in some circles, Joseph Habineza.

Habineza, who is now Rwanda's High Commissioner to Nigeria, said then that the ministry was in initial stages of drafting a bill that will promote, encourage and control all forms of sports in the country.

He said his subordinates were in earlier stages of drafting the bill that would be presented to the cabinet and then the legislative assembly.

However, Habineza couldn't give the timeframe when the bill would be ready.

According him, the bill would be in line with other acts that govern sports in the East African Community, to which Rwanda had become a member a year earlier.

The draft talk seems to have been blown out of the minister's office window seconds after the interview because I have never heard about it again.

With such a bill creating a national sports council whose duties have mainly been bulldozed by the larger than life Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee, a few wings will be trimmed to shape. And this is what Rwandan sports needs at the moment.

The National Council of Sports would have the mandate of promoting, developing, encouraging and controlling all forms of sport in Rwanda.

If we can get this form of committee (National Council of Sports), it can facilitate and encourage co-operation among the various national sports associations and other sports organisations in the country.

The council can assist whenever possible, sports associations and national, regional, district and local authorities in promoting the development of sport in Rwanda.

The burden of preparing athletes for international events would be removed from Rwanda National Olympics committee and the ministry.

The committee or council would promote, on behalf of government, throughout Rwanda the highest standards of sportsmanship and discipline through sports activities and I believe this would have a bearing on our showing on the international stage like at the Olympics.

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