Dresden Olympiad: Motivational Message from ACU President to all ACU Countries
Written by ACU Press
on 15-10-2008 10:32
The Olympiad is four weeks away and the official Dresden Olympiad Website reflects that this year there are going to more teams from the African continent. Some of the new-comers include Gabon, Ghana, Burundi, Rwanda, and many others. The President of African Chess Union, Mr Dabilani Buthali, has sent the following message of motivation to all African countries.
At a Presidential Board meeting early this year, the FIDE leadership resolved to dedicate 2008 as the year to re-invigorate chess development in Africa. In pursuance to that, visits were made to a number of countries, with the view to facilitate organized chess and eventually affiliation with FIDE. As a result, a number of countries from Africa have applied for affiliation. The visits alluded to are only the first phase since more are planned for later this year and early in 2009. Furthermore and in recognition of the importance of chess grassroots development, the Chess in School and CACDEC Chairpersons visited a number of countries in Southern Africa over the past few months in order to have experience of issues on the ground. The second lag of this mission will cover Central and North Africa. Whilst Africa presents a myriad of challenges, this is perhaps a step in the right direction.
As part of the FIDE family, member countries are poising themselves for the Dresden Chess Olympiad and it does seem we may have more African countries taking part in an Olympiad than before. Surely the numbers could have been much higher if it were not for a number of challenges – communications bottlenecks with the Organizers, affiliation fee arrears, etc. Whilst acknowledging such, I honestly believe that we can make a mark on the 64-squared board to show the world that Africa has come of age in the chess arena. I therefore wish to encourage African Chess nations to rise to the occasion and be counted among competitors and not amongst participants.
Let 2008 be a turning point for chess in Africa”.