BUENOS AIRES: The fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2022 will be held in Dakar, Senegal.

The decision for the Olympic movement to dare venture into Africa – at last – was taken on a unanimous show of hands from the full International Olympic Committee membership during its session [congress] in Buenos Aires.

This is the first time the Youth Olympic Games will be organised in Africa.

Four African countries had been in the running – also Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia  – but an evaluation commission and the executive board determined that Dakar presented the best value proposition and the greatest opportunities.

An IOC statement said: “Dakar 2022 presented a visionary, ambitious and technically sound YOG project that addresses the long-term aims of the country.  Senegal has a large youth population and views the YOG as a catalyst for engaging young people and developing the country’s sport and youth policy.

“Significant investments are already being made toward youth and sport as part of the country’s overarching framework “Plan Sénégal émergent”, which sets out the President’s vision to 2035.”

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “Africa is united behind Senegal to host the Youth Olympic Games 2022. With a young population and a passion for sport, it is time for Africa, it is time for Senegal.”

Competitions and activities will be held across three cities, showing the many facets of Senegal: the historic capital of Dakar; the new city of Diamniadio; and the natural beauty of Saly on the coast.

The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, who made the journey to Buenos Aires for the decision, said: “Senegal and its young people are proud of the honour you have bestowed upon us, in entrusting the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to our country.

“In fact, it is the whole of Africa, the birthplace of humankind through its history and the youngest continent through its demographics, which will welcome the young athletes of the world in 2022.”

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