CAF President Ahmad on Monday, 12 March 2018, met with Rwanda President Paul Kagame in Kigali, as he climaxed his three-day official visit to the East African nation.
The two held talks on a wide range of issues ranging from the development of youth football on the continent to Morocco’s bid for the 2026 World Cup among others.
President Kagame, elected Chairperson of the African Union last January during the 30th Ordinary Session of the continental body in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pledged to use his new position to support the development and promotion of football across Africa.
Earlier, the CAF President attended the opening ceremony of the 11th General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) under the theme ‘theme African audio-visual media and the migratory question’ at the Kigali Convention Centre.
In his speech, he said: “I know the importance of the issues you are dealing with. I know the role, the impact and the strategic dimension of radio and television in the world we live in today, and I willingly agreed to be with you and give my word as the President of the largest sports confederation in Africa.
President Ahmad took time to go deep into the history of the AUB, which was formerly known as URTNA, having lived through most of the economic, social, cultural and of course, technological transformations.
“The whole of this history of sports television in Africa will remain for eternity and have led us to considerable evolutions. We had a few national televisions in the sixties and today we have many thousands of national and Private TVs.
“Today in Africa, a number of TVs encrypt their programs, produce their own programs, their own matches, distribute and comment independently. Many TVs receive or broadcast in HD.
“Today in Africa, the famous Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is present in more than fifteen countries, a respectable sign of a technological development.
“However, let me now use a language of total frankness with you. I am the current President of CAF and I do not share the opinion of many of you on the way in which we conceive the acquisition and the use of TV rights and Marketing of our sports competitions.
“National African National Televisions buy major events of world sport and relay them without a problem. It is a great signal of emancipation and independence.
But when it comes to acquiring the rights of CAF competitions, including the famous AFCON, some of you find it difficult, protest, even are outraged about commercial conditions.
“The Lagardère Group is now a partner of CAF for the marketing of rights to the African Cup of Nations and all other competitions. It needs the vitality of your organization and your network of African TV members. They need to understand the general expectations and your expectations”.
On the sidelines of the event, the CAF President held talks with Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, Louise Mushikiwabo, and a closed-door meeting with members of the Executive Council of AUB, to discuss broadcasting-related issues.
On Sunday, the CAF President met Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) president Vincent Nzamwita and the Minister of Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu.
He also paid a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and also donated $2000 towards the maintenance of the centre in their campaign of continuous genocide prevention and the fight against genocidal ideology.