Under the auspices of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, head of the Organisation of African Unity, the first ever Special Olympics Pan-African Games unveiled the logo of the Games which will be hosted by Egypt from 23-31 January.
The main concept of the logo is the African continent merged with the Special Olympics logo. A close look at the logo shows the face of an African woman with her traditional Zulu hat and an African man with his African facial features. The traditional Zulu hat goes back to the African tribes in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana as well as the Eswatini of Swaziland. Zulu is also an official language and a member of the Bantu/Nguni family of languages.
As for the logo’s background, a number of African icons and drawings that represent the 42 African countries participating in the Games are on display.
Ayman Abdel-Wahab, Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa region president and managing director, and head of the Supreme Organising Committee of the Games, said the logo was designed keeping in mind the basic foundation of the Games, taking into consideration that it is the first continental games in the history of the Special Olympics movement.
The first Pan-African Special Olympics is the first Games to have an equal number of male and female participants while the 2019 World Summer Games held in Abu Dhabi, which was a pioneering Games in the number of female athletes, witnessed a 60 percent to 40 percent male-female ratio. The percentage in previous World Games was 70 percent males and 30 percent females.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 16 January 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly