In 2022, Senegal will host the fourth summer youth Olympic games, the first to take place on the African continent. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unanimously made the decision on Monday (Oct. 8) in Buenos Aires where Senegal beat proposals from three other African nations namely Botswana, Nigeria, and Tunisia. Thousands of athletes age 15-18 from over 200 countries usually participate in the summer games competing in over 40 sports as diverse as badminton, boxing, fencing, table tennis, rugby, and weightlifting.
The West African nation offered a project based on a “strong vision for youth and sport,” the head of the Olympic body Thomas Bach said, adding “it is time for Africa, it is time for Senegal.”
The choice of Senegal points to the country’s proactive turn to a new development path aimed at transforming its economy, improving living conditions, and overhauling its infrastructure. Under president Macky Sall, who was elected in 2012, the country kick-started the ambitious Plan for Emerging Senegal which aims to transform key sectors from agriculture to healthcare, public administration and education by 2035.