Dakar 2022 general coordinator Ibrahima Wade believes the Summer Youth Olympic Games can provide a catalyst for development in Senegal.
Wade made the claim at Global Sports Week Paris, where he spoke on a panel titled “The New Challenge: Organising major events in a purpose driven world.”
He said Dakar 2022 had sought the feedback of young people and business leaders, before determining the vision that the Games would be a “catalyst for the economic and social transformation of the country.”
“The purpose of the Youth Games in Dakar, the first in Africa, was a key thing for us to reflect on,” Wade said.
“We have been defining how to use the Games in order to be a transformative catalyst for the society, as there will be life after Dakar 2022.
“The Senegalese Government recently introduced a plan aimed at shifting Senegal to a higher level of social development.
“The Youth Olympic Games can be a big part of that.
“We need to work on several key issues to help, such as environmental concerns.
“We also need to help young people become the drivers to social and economic development in the future.
“The Youth Olympic Games in Dakar 2022 will use sport as a contribution to Africa’s transformation.
“We believe these Games can act as a catalyst for the social and economic transformation of the country and for the whole of Africa.”
Wade added that Dakar 2022 were taking several steps in an effort to make the Games more sustainable, citing the use of public transport for athletes and officials.
He said efforts were also being made to ensure venues use renewable energy sources, with the Games expected to contribute to a wider Government project to keep the country clean.
“There is a huge consciousness in terms of sustainability, with a focus on cleaning cities and beaches,” Wade said.
“This is important. We are taking the opportunity of the Games to train and advise people on how they can become more sustainable and make the Youth Olympics more sustainable.
“In the country there is a very big Movement, as the Government took the decision that every first Saturday of the month it is a cleaning day across the whole country.
“All of the newly built venues within the city have either solar or alternative energy sources.
“We really want to move forward with sustainability initiatives.”
Dakar 2022 will now take place between October 22 and November 9 2022, having initially been scheduled to take place in May and June of the same year.
African Youth Day falls on November 1.
The Youth Games will be based around Senegal’s capital Dakar, as well as venue hubs at Diamniadio and the coastal resort of Saly.