The 10th edition of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games will be officially inaugurated at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe this evening.
The regional Games are happening after years of preparations and challenges which threatened to derail their coming to Malawi.
The Games are among the biggest developmental sporting events in the Southern Africa region.
It is for this reason that pomp, colour and fanfare are expected to characterise the official opening ceremony which starts at 5pm.
This year’s Games will be held under the theme ‘Igniting the African Dream’.
The theme symbolises the rebirth of African youth, rising from tragedies, both current and historic, poverty, hunger and other prejudices due to the Covid pandemic.
It also stands for a new future, an African renaissance of hope, success and glory in sport and all other aspects.
President Lazarus Chakwera will officially open the Games, which started on Thursday in Lilongwe.
Some of the activities lined up for the opening ceremony are artistic displays, music performances and parades.
The international tournament has brought with it an aura of excitement which has engulfed Lilongwe, where everything is taking place.
Just yesterday, business came to a standstill in some parts of the capital as the Games’ relay torch was paraded through the streets.
Youth and Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda said all is set for the event.
’’We are happy that the Games are finally here. Organising the event has not been easy. But our hope and belief is that we will host memorable Games,’’ Chimwendo Banda said.
By design, the Region 5 Youth Games rotate among countries every two years.
The inaugural games were held in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2004.
The athletes will be competing in football, netball, basketball, boxing, athletics, judo, taekwondo and tennis.