Brian Cookson has vowed to build on his achievements for African cycling if he is re-elected as UCI President later this year.
Cookson, who met with African Cycling Confederation delegates in Cairo pledged to increase funding and support to ensure African cycling continues to grow.
Since being elected in 2013, Africa has been given equal status with Asia and Pan America with nine voting delegates; the UCI now has five new African members with Tchad set to join; Africans have now secured places on the Management Committee and UCI Commissions; Dr. Mohamed Wagih Azzam was appointed as the first UCI Vice President from Africa; and the number of cyclists taking part in Olympic and Paralympic events has grown considerably.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “I have shown over the past four years that I keep my promises and that Africa should be equal to other Confederations, not treated as second class as had previously been the case.
“Over the next four years, I want to see that growth continue through increased funding both to stage world class and regional events and to provide the education and support which will help cycling in Africa develop from grassroots to elite level.
“I am committed to ensuring that Africa builds more satellite centres and has the tools and the facilities to inspire more young people to take up cycling for leisure and competition.
“The UCI’s financial strength has been transformed over the past four years and I will use that increased revenue to help drive National Federation and Continental Confederation development.
“Africa has made tremendous progress in the sport of cycling and by working together, I believe the UCI and African Cycling Confederation can take the sport to the next level on this magnificent and diverse continent. My commitment to Africa remains resolute.”
African Cycling Confederation President Dr. Azzam said: “We welcome Brian Cookson and his team and we had a superb meeting with the nine African voting delegates and management team.
“Mr Cookson has had a great impact on cycling in Africa and he has gained our complete respect. His vision for the next four years fits with our ambitions to grow the sport on our continent and we know he has achieved a great deal so far.”
Cookson, who became President of the world governing body for the sport of cycling in 2013, is standing for a second term to build on the significant progress that has been made during the first four years of his Presidency.
He aims to drive growth across all of cycling’s disciplines, accelerate international development, champion cycling for transport and leisure, ensure there is equal opportunity for men and women to participate and compete, build on cycling’s restored credibility and ensure the UCI continues to drive excellence in its operations.