UNESCO's tribute MTN-Qhubeka, the first African cycling team to race the Tour de France
In the presence of MTN-Qhubeka team, Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, H. E. Mr Lejeune Mbella Mbella, President of UNESCO's Africa Group, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Cameroon to France, Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, H. E. Mrs Hanna Simon, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Eritrea to France, Permanent Delegate and H. E. Mr Rapulane Sydney Molekane, Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of South Africa in France, Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.
For the first time in the history of cycling an African team, MTN-Qhubeka, based in South Africa, composed of experienced international riders and professionals from South Africa and Eritrea, is participating in the Tour de France. It is not only a dream which came true for Douglas Ryder, Team Manager, but also a recognition of several years of hard work to bring out professional African cycling. Besides, MTN-Qhubeka is the first African team to have acquired in 2013 the status of professional continental team.
This event is jointly organized by UNESCO and the Embassies of South Africa and Eritrea as part of the promotion of "UNESCO’s Operational Strategy for Priority Africa" and the 10th Anniversary of the International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005) ratified by 182 States Parties. South Africa ratified the Convention in 2006 and the State Party is actively engaged in promoting clean sport and quality physical education as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) and the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).