THE African Union Sports Council Region 5 Council of Ministers Troika is convening an emergency risk assessment virtual meeting to discuss the devastating effects of the coronavirus on sport in the region.
The meeting starts at 11am today, via Skype, and each of the Ministers will be in their countries.
The meeting will zoom in specifically on the impact of the global pandemic on the Region 5 programmes, particularly the 2020 Region 5 Youth Games scheduled for December 4 to 13, 2020.
The Troika is a Management Board of the Council of Ministers of Sport in the region and is currently chaired by the Lesotho Minister of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation, Mahali Phamotse.
It includes Malawi Minister of Youth and Sport, Francis Phiso, and Botswana Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare.
According to Article 15 of the AUSC region 5 Constitution, the Troika takes decisions in-between the meetings of Council of Ministers.
Sport is among the hardest hit industries in all affected countries, which have duly cancelled, postponed or suspended all scheduled sporting events and activities to minimise the spread of the virus and flatten the infection curve.
Such events as the first Chefs de Mission meeting for the 2020 Region 5 Games, Desk Officers meeting, Women in Sport Committee meeting, Sport for People with Disabilities meeting, Secretariat meeting and Executive Committee meetings, which had been pencilled in for the period between March 22 and May 7, have had to be put on ice due to the devastating pandemic.
The proposed Region 5 Marathon scheduled for May 16 in South Africa was also indefinitely postponed.
The Regional Annual Sports Awards scheduled for May 23 in Eswatini have been put on provisional stand-by pending assessment of the prevailing circumstances.
The AUSC Region 5 chief executive, Stanley Mutoya, said that the Troika will assess the risk exposure of the Region, the impact and channel a response strategy in order to ensure business continuity in the wake of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by this pandemic.
"The AUSC Region 5 has an existing risk management policy, and charter which will be used to assess the impact of the inherent impact of the pandemic on business continuity," Mutoya said.
This assessment will be based on a consequence criterion, likelihood criteria and determine the priority for attention by the Region on the treatment or management of the risk.
This is in order to mitigate and minimise impact that relates to financial loss, health and safety of sportsmen and sportswomen including spectators, communities and members of the public, programmes uptake by member countries, brand reputation and legal and compliance impact in view of guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and various governments of the member countries.
The AUSC Region 5 is one of the five Regions entrusted with the responsibility to develop sport under the African Union.
This follows the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa on July 26, 2013, under which the Region 5 was known as SCSA Zone VI.
The SCSA was established on December 14, 1966 and served as a specialised agency of the then Organisation of African Unity for the coordination of the Africa Sports Movement.
It was meant to utilise sport in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid on the continent.
Invariably, the SCSA was essentially a political organisation which furthered the aims and objectives of the OAU through sport.
Members of the AUSC Region 5 are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The AUSC Region 5 is the continent's most functional Region and a trailblazer in implementing sports programmes and activities.