African national federation presidents and representatives for mixed martial arts met during the recent 2023 African Games in Accra for a lunch meeting hosted by Global Mixed Martial Arts Association President Alexander Engelhardt and Director General Peter Stafford.

The purpose of the meeting was not only to celebrate the achievement of MMA being included for the first time as a demonstration sport in the African games, a huge milestone for the sport, but also high on the agenda was how national federations can best collaborate to foster and further the development and growth of MMA through knowledge sharing and cooperation for mutual support across a continent that faces significant economic and structural challenges.

In attendance were representatives from GAMMA member federations for: Burkina Faso, President Abraham Mano; Côte d’Ivoire, Vice-president Atse Guillaume Beda and General Secretary Leygre Tape; Ghana, President Jeff Taylor; Libya, representative Muammar Felfel; Mauritius, representative Muhamad Tawfiq Jainbocus; Nigeria, President Valentine Uzoma Morah and representative Rayan Fayad; Sierra Leone, President Saidu Sesay; Sudan, President Faisal Abubaker; Togo, President Adjele Ida Yakass and Technical Director Henry Jallah; ⁠⁠and Uganda, President Titus Tugume.

Jainbocus of Mauritius thanked GAMMA for creating the opportunity for participation in the “African Olympic Games”, noting the significance of inclusion for national sport development. He urged his counterparts to keep working together: “If we do not come together to help each other it will be challenging to utilise help from outside. We need to find ways to work together so we can collectively, best utilise our means to bring the sport to another level in Africa.”

Vice-president Beda of Republic of Côte d’Ivoire spoke of the obstacles and expense of establishing a sport. Inclusion in the Games had aided their cause with their National Director of Sport regarding MMA’s status in Côte d’Ivoire, where the sport is officially recognised but not yet supported.

GAMMA President Engelhardt commended the commitment and personal dedication of the presidents and representatives of the national federations who are the driving forces for the development of MMA within their countries and thanked them and their National Olympic Committees for the efforts and commitment to travel to the Games, especially those coming from situations of war and political turmoil at home. All parties committed to future cooperation to build and accelerate the growth of the sport following the success of the MMA event and the opportunities given to the athletes in Accra, with the target of participating in the 2027 African Games in Egypt.