Senegal To Host First Olympic Event In Africa

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Africa is anticipating the first-ever Youth Olympic Games to be hosted on the continent in 2026, in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

Rescheduled to take place between October 31 and November 13, 2026, the proposed event is set to bring together the world’s finest young athletes to compete in 35 different sports over 14 days.

The Dakar en Jeux (Dakar in Games) festival was originally planned for Dakar 2022 period, across the three host cities of Dakar, Diamniadio, and Saly.

Since then, Dakar en Jeux has become an annual celebration of sport and culture, serving as a precursor to Dakar 2026 while encouraging increased youth engagement in sports.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is reported to have expressed his support for Senegal’s hosting of the Youth Olympic Games, noting Africa’s unity and its sporting culture. “With a young population and a passion for sport, it is time for Africa, it is time for Senegal,” he noted in a report by Olympics.com

“We cannot wait for the moment to be back here and to enjoy this first Olympic event on African soil, an event for Africa, with Africa, that will welcome the youth of the world in Senegal.” Bach made these remarks during his visit to Senegal in 2022, disclosing his anticipation for the event.

Sports analysts from parts of Africa consider the event to be of historic significance with Rufai Shuaib from Senegal saying

“The hosting of the Youth Olympic Games in Dakar represents a major milestone in showcasing the immense talent and potential of our young athletes on a global platform,”