Africa: development through unity
Date: May 25, 2022
Ilgar Rahimov, vice president of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and president of the National Paralympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, visited the Republic of Sierra Leone between May 19th and May 21st.
During the visit, meetings were held with vice president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Juldeh Calloh, Foreign Minister David Francis, Minister of Sports Ibrahim Nyelenkeh and Deputy Minister of Social Protection Mohamed Kabia, President of the National Olympic Committee Patrick Joker. The leadership of the Paralympic Committees of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, as well as representatives of the Gymnastics, Swimming, Rugby and Boxing Federations also attended the meeting.
During the meetings, Ilgar Rahimov gave detailed information about the activities of IBSA and noted that the development of blind sports in the African region is one of the priorities for the new leadership of IBSA. He called on the Sierra Leone government to increase its care for disabled sports. He expressed support for the implementation of various events and projects to promote blind sports.
Ilgar Rahimov also gave detailed information about the activities of IBSA, the sports available in the organization, noted that the organization takes measures to attract people with visual impairment to sports. He stressed the importance of promoting the sport among the people with visual impairment and called for the resumption of Sierra Leone’s membership in the IBSA in order to work successfully in this direction in the country. Liberia and Guinea are also expected to join IBSA soon. As a result of the discussion, these countries asked for assistance to be members of IBSA as soon as possible.
Mr. Rahimov also underlined the importance of local authorities working together to create an enabling environment for the disabled and visually impaired in Sierra Leone, to address employment and other social problems, and to develop and implement new projects in this area. The government of the Republic of Sierra Leone attaches great importance to the development of relations, they noted that there are wide opportunities for the development of cooperation between the parties.
The vice president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mohammad Juldeh Calloh, assured that he would spare no effort to support the development of the Paralympic movement in the country.
During his visit to Sierra Leone, IBSA vice-president met with the country’s amputee football team and visited a school for the people with visual impairment. The school director gave detailed information about their activities.
Afterwards, the children showed their skills and performed their musical acts. At the same time, small sports competitions were held among schoolchildren.
Mr. Rahimov resumed the visit: “My long dreamed of visit to Sub-Sahara Africa, a continent known for its thousands of citizens with visual impairments, has opened that area to what IBSA can offer. This was just the start of my journey to increase membership of IBSA there and provide our fantastic services to new national members and future Africa VI athletes”.