WADA President holds productive meetings with leaders in Southern Africa


Since the start of his presidency, WADA President Witold Bańka has made it a priority to meet with anti-doping stakeholders around the world, including athletes, National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), sports ministers and other Government representatives responsible for anti-doping. 

Over the past week or so, Mr. Bańka was in Africa for several meetings with Government leaders and other key anti-doping stakeholders. 

Mr. Bańka said: “It was a pleasure meeting with our partners in Africa this week. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Government and sport representatives who welcomed our delegation, for their hospitality and for taking the time to have productive and mutually beneficial conversations with us. Discussing anti-doping topics and possible solutions within the African context is critical. Collaboration between the Public Authorities and representatives of the Sport Movement is key to taking meaningful strides in building anti-doping capacity and promoting clean sport. WADA looks forward to continued collaboration with our stakeholders in Africa in the years to come.” 

The trip began in Gaborone, Botswana, where Mr. Bańka was hosted by the Honourable Tumiso MacDonald Rakgare, Botswana’s Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, and WADA’s new Foundation Board member. During the ensuing meeting with his host, Mr. Bańka provided an update on pertinent WADA matters, and the two sides discussed the status of Botswana’s anti-doping infrastructure, in particular around the development of an independent NADO. 

While in Botswana Mr. Bańka also had the opportunity to meet with His Honour Slumber Tsogwane, Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana, to personally thank him for the support of Botswana’s top leadership to the global fight against doping in sport.  

During his visit, Mr. Bańka also met with: 

  • Mr. Tshepo Sitale, Senior Vice-President of the Botswana NOC; 

  • Dr. Patrick Masokwane, representing the Interim National Anti-Doping Committee Chairperson;  

  • Mr. Andrew Kamanga, Manager of the Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping Organization; 

  • Members of the Botswana NOC’s Athletes’ Commission. 

Mr. Bańka then travelled to South Africa, where he had a meeting with representatives from SuperSport, WADA’s African-based broadcasting partner. The productive meeting included discussions with SuperSport CEO, Rendani Ramovha, and Head of Enterprises and Regulatory Affairs, Graham Abrahams. The meeting focused on capitalizing on specific opportunities as part of the partnership and its potential extension in the years to come. 

In South Africa, he also met with Khotso Mokoena, Chairperson of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, and 2008 Olympic silver medalist in long jump, who will be part of WADA’s Athlete Engagement team at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The final leg of the trip was to Harare, Zimbabwe, where Mr. Bańka had the opportunity to meet with Kirsty Coventry, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation of Zimbabwe, Olympic gold medalist in swimming, and International Olympic Committee Executive Board Member.  

During his stay in Zimbabwe, Mr. Bańka also had a chance to meet with the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, as well as: 

  • Thabani Gonye, President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC); 

  • Members of the National Anti-Doping Coordinating Committee; and 

  • Representatives from the ZOC Athletes’ Commission.