Nairobi will host this year’s International Sports Press Association (AIPS) with over 20 countries expected in the country’s AIPS Africa congress.
Hosted by Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK), Kenya will host the event from December 16 to 19 as the first time AIPS Africa will be hosting a meeting in the East African region.
AIPS President Gianni Merlo, a highly respected Olympic journalist who works for leading Italian daily, Gazetta dello Sport, will attend the elective congress.
“The Congress in Nairobi will be another milestone for AIPS Africa. In the past years, sport journalism has made huge strides in Africa and the new generation of colleagues are ready for the need of our profession at this changing time. Together with AIPS Africa, we will continue to develop programmes that improve the skills and their culture of the younger generation. This is the only way we can challenge the big problems of the sport like doping and corruption,” said Merlo.
SJAK confirmed that it would host the congress after consultations with the continental office.
“There is no doubt of Kenya’s position in continental and world of sports, so it was only fitting that we host our African colleagues. It will be a good time for them to have a taste of Kenya’s hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere, with no rush to beat deadlines. For us as SJAK, and Kenyan sports writers, it will be a good forum to network and share our nation’s passion for sports,” said SJAK President, Chris Mbaisi.
The AIPS Africa Congress was initially set for October but was postponed to December due to the presidential election re-run. “Then, there were fears that the congress could be moved from Nairobi due to the tensed political climate. But after consultations, the AIPS Africa executive agreed to reschedule the congress,” he added. AIPS Africa president Mitchell Obi said: “After a long wait the cream of sports journalists and sports media leaders will find the reassuring warmth in Nairobi, a city that rolls with tourism, to prepare for a momentous 2018. Hoping to align with the change fever in Africa, our colleagues will be striving to find a fresh value laden voice to meet and beat the hurdles that confront African sports and its media. Salute to our Kenyan colleagues for braving the odds and showing the world that with sports and the media, where there is a will, there must be a way. Africa will be loud in Nairobi. Wait for us!” Nairobi was granted the hosting rights in April in Seoul, where AIPS held its quadrennial vote, that elected SJAK’s treasurer, Evelyn Watta as its vice president, the first African woman to serve in that position. The congress will be the final official calendar of event for the Lausanne headquartered AIPS.