08 Jun. 2021
Teams are conducting last-minute preparations in Yaounde, Cameroon ahead of the 24th edition of the African Handball Confederation (CAHB) Women’s African Championship, throwing off on Tuesday 8 June and finishing on Friday 18 June, taking place under strict COVID-19 protocols.
It marks the first significant senior women’s African continental competition since the CAHB Women’s African Olympic Qualification Tournament in September 2019 and the African Games in Morocco in August 2019.
Angola are vying for their third consecutive title and their 14th in 17 CAHB Women's African Championships.
11 teams, 1 title, 4 Spain 2021 places
Initially scheduled to include 12 teams for the first time, 11 teams will now be competing for the Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba Trophy and the right to be called ‘Queens of Africa’ as continental champions after the late withdrawal by Algeria. In addition to the winners, all four semi-finalists will confirm their place at the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship, scheduled to take place in Spain in December.
Three preliminary groups form the initial stage of competition with Group A featuring Senegal, Tunisia, Guinea and Madagascar, Group B including DR Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria and Kenya and Group C featuring Angola, Congo and Cape Verde.
Today, Tuesday 8 June, sees the opening ceremony at 17:00 (local time) preceded by Nigeria vs DR Congo (14:00) and followed by the host nation taking on Kenya (18:00).
The top two teams in each group qualify for the quarter-finals, with the 1st and 2nd best-placed third-placed teams joining them. The final will take place on Friday 18 June at 18:00.
Click here for more information about the participating nations.
The 5,263-capacity Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex will host all games at the championship.
Follow Cameroon 2021
All games will be broadcast on Cameroon's National Channel, CRTV, with live streaming also available on the official CAHB Facebook page. The CAHB has confirmed that real time information will also be available via their official website at www.cahbonline.info.
Nyango the mascot
An ever-present throughout the championship will be mascot ‘Nyango’. According to a media release, Nyango represents a handball lioness dressed in the colours of the host team, with a yellow shirt, red shorts and green socks. The word ‘Nyango’ is a word taken from the Duala language which designates a woman, a mother, a sister or a friend, and as an ambassador for Cameroon 2021, Nyango will be a mother, sister and friend for those who will converge together in the land of legendary hospitality, Cameroon.
“A great sporting celebration”
In his welcome message on the eve of the championship, President of the CAHB, Dr Mansourou Aremou, reflected on the immense effort taken by everyone involved in planning for the event during the current COVID-19 global pandemic while looking ahead to two weeks of exciting and exhilarating competition on court in West Africa.
“It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the 24th edition of CAHB Women’s African Championship in Cameroon. This pleasure is even greater because the global health crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 had condemned the actual holding of our activities to uncertain postponements.
“However, despite this virus which has affected the whole world for more than a year, the organisation of Cameroon 2021 was made possible thanks to the commitment of the host country, Cameroon.
“On behalf of the Executive Committee of the African Handball Confederation, I would like to greet and thank the Cameroon authorities, especially the highest authority: the President of the Republic of Cameroon, who did not save any effort in making this important competition come true for the African youth. [In addition, I would like to thank] the Cameroon Handball Federation, the CAHB Medical Commission, the Organising Committee and all the stakeholders who mobilised themselves to prepare this great sporting celebration.
“[In fact, Cameroon 2021 is a triple celebration]: the first CAHB competition in a COVID-19 context, the first Africa Women’s Championship organised by Cameroon and first time that Africa will see four teams qualify through to an IHF Women’s World Championship.
“It is important to point out that the success of this event will depend mainly on the determination of everyone to ensure the respect of the health bubble built to guarantee the safety of all the participants, but I am sure that this is a common concern to all of us and that we will all take the appropriate measures to make this event…the starting point of many more to come.
“In faith of this, I wish us all a good celebration and may the best team win – long live African Handball.”
For more information on the event, including the full schedule, click here.