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Notice of invitation to apply for the recruitment of a consultant for a study on the documentation of traditional sports and games in ECOWAS member states

Date : 06 Aug 2021 - 31 Aug 2021
Venue : ECOWAS Commission,
Town : ABUJA
Country : Nigeria

Notice of invitation to apply for the recruitment of a consultant for a study on the documentation of traditional sports and games in ECOWAS member states


Job Title: Consultant for the study on the Documentation of Traditional Sports and Games (TSG)   in ECOWAS Member States


Type of Contract   :  Individual Contract

Programme Title   :  Sports Development Programme

Period/Duration of Assignment /Services:  Immediate (06 weeks maximum, including submission of report)

Start Date   :   July/August 2021


Letters of application should be submitted to the email address not later than1600hrs GMT on August 2021. The heading “Consultant for the study on the documentation of Traditional Sports and Games (TSG)” should be on the subject line of the email

All clarification requests should be routed electronically to the email address above. The EYSDC Office in Burkina Faso will reply to all requests by both email and surface mail and copy all applicants without revealing the source of the request.




Safeguarding and promoting traditional sports and games (TSG) as sports practices and intangible cultural heritage is a key challenge for the future and development of sports and societies. Traditional sports and games play a vital role in enhancing intercultural dialogue and peace, reinforce youth empowerment and promote ethical sports practices in addition to its regional integration posture.

West Africa is endowed with cultural and traditional sports and games that are being practiced sustainably in all communities of the 15 member states for time immemorial. Unfortunately the TSG in the region have not been adequately documented and developed to ensure their evolution to modern sports and games that will attract practice at regional, continental and global sports arenas.

ECOWAS within the context of its sports sector set the pace for traditional community sports development in 2001, when it adopted the Niamey traditional African wrestling tournament (TOLAC) as a regional sports programme. This was with the view to promote community sports development, integration and peace in the region. Since then the sport had been practiced conscientiously, and has evolved into a popular community sport coded and strengthened with contemporary scientific rules and regulations. The widespread and unique West African wrestling tournament (TOLAC) has been expanded to Dakar, Senegal, which also have similar structures and is now being implemented as a West African wrestling tournament in the Region.

Underscoring the importance of TSG Mr. Kiochiro Matsura, former UNESCO Director General (2003) pronounced that the celebration of indigenous and traditional sports and games which derive from the roots of many different communities is a growing feature of contemporary culture. This gives political and institutional credence to the development of traditional sports and games at national, regional and continental levels.

Buttressing the need for traditional sports and games development further, Han Bin Liu Lanjuan, a popular Chinese author and researcher in education technology in a presentation on the important role of traditional sport culture in promoting the development of sports on population notes that “Traditional national and regional sports are events playing an important role in promoting the physical quality of the whole people. In the process of modernization, the national culture and national character change to ethnic minorities can be manifested through sports activities. Sports activities can not only satisfy people’s external sense of life values, but most importantly, physical activity can exercise people’s physical quality and mental quality.

ECOWAS is consistently and unequivocally committed to the development of unique community sports that are peculiar to West Africa. Since the commendable and visionary adoption and development of the African wrestling tournament TOLAC, more than two decades ago, not much has been done in the development and translation of other traditional sports and games into community sport. However, ECOWAS sports development and practice since then had found solace in adopting other modern sports and practicing them as regional sports. Contemporary Sports adopted and given regional status include:

  • The Cyclists tour
  • Abuja International Marathon
  • ECOWAS Games
  • Under 17 Football Tournament
  • Athletics Competition
  • Judo etc

While these sports contribute immensely in fostering regional integration and visibility to ECOWAS Sports development and integration principles generally, this actually opens a gap and suppress the evolution and development of traditional and community sports unique to the region.

The regional environment in which different ethnic groups live and the different national cultures brought about by the regional environment marks each ethnic group for a traditional sport activities differences. This cultural nexus is the regions nation and traditional nation’s sports future.

Largely traditional sports have experienced vicissitude and sufferings in the long historical evolution. Every historical change manifested by emerging new cultural trends imposed by the digital age has brought new challenges that is a threat to TSG and our collective cultural heritage. It is only by giving full play to activities of national traditional sports and continuing the cultural characteristics of the community and strengthening the management of sports culture can we effectively promote the construction of community sports culture and provide more consensual services for the masses of the region.

In the face of peoples historical development, opportunities of economic development in the West especially with the massive digitalization of sports, regions and the developed world must seize the opportunity of historical development and vigorously carry out traditional sports development through practicing and development of intangible sport.

Given the role of youth at the heart of the transmission and continuity of TSG so that young people are educated to the core values of traditional sports and games, Youth who are at the productive age and are at the centre of active sports participation and practices ,  should be empowered and integrated as change agents in the promotion of peace and inter cultural dialogue by TSG in African States and beyond to promote in particular inclusion, peace and dialogue between communities.

TSG contributes to the promotion and safeguard of intangible heritage, inner cultural dialogue and the development of regional integration and the consolidation of peace through the rapprochement of communities and the dissemination of core civic values such as sustainability, inclusion, mutual respect etc.

The importance of sport as an instrument for sustainable development and its great contribution for viable development and peace through tolerance and respect has been recognized worldwide by the United Nations. Sports can inspire global action for development worldwide, including in the field of sport for development and peace. Harnessing the potentials of sports the UN Office on Sports for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) has long been bringing people together through sports and supporting sport for peace initiatives, from mega sports events to grass roots activities. These initiatives help sports achieve its fullest potential in realizing the Goals. In its basic form, sports encourages balanced participation and has the capacity to promote gender equality- {G 5 of the SDGs} — through sport and physical activity, women and girls can be empowered and benefit from the positive impact that sport has on health and psychosocial conditions.

At the African regional level sports is recognized as a catalyst for development and a vehicle for peace.  AU 2063 Agenda acknowledged that traditional sports and games are part of the history and identity of the African people. Their safe guarding is therefore essential for Africa to preset its traditional values.


Documentation of traditional sports and games today has become part of the heritage diversity. TSGs are practiced in an individual or collective manner drawing from regional or local identity based on accepted rules. They dispose of a popular character and promote global health. It also ensures safeguarding and building tangible and cultural paths, leading to inter cultural and inter community development. They promote the understanding of contemporary cultural, societal and sports practice and anticipate the future evolutions. TSG gives governments, communities and individuals the chance to expose both cultural pride and release sports to another level of influence. Documentation therefore raises the awareness on the importance of popularizing and safeguarding of the traditional games and sports and to make known the rubrics of the intangible cultural heritage of Africa through TSG.

Youth today and adults that are connected to the social media and other digital media platforms divulge most of their time on digital sports. This has prompted the sports industry to invest heavily on digital sports content development that is racking in a lot capital which is now a lucrative value chain.

Digitization of traditional sports provides a modern technical platform of documenting traditional sports and games and making them available digitally and promoting their development globally.



The UNESCO is a member of the UN Development Group. Its goal is to contribute to building peace the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, culture and sports. Its mission includes safeguarding and promoting TSG, as well as entrenching intercultural dialogue and peace, reinforcing youth empowerment, promoting ethical sports practices and providing opportunities for traditional sports, practices and providing opportunities for traditional sports.

Safeguarding and promoting TSG as sports practice and intangible cultural heritage is a key challenge for the future development and sports and societies. UNESCO in 2005 concretized the process by elaborating and adopting a Charter of Traditional Games followed by Resolution 21on desirability and scope of an international charter on traditional games and sports. The charter states that

“The diversity of physical education, physical activity and sport is a basic feature of their value and appeal. Traditional and indigenous games dances and sports also in their modern and emerging forms express the world’s rich cultural heritage and must be protected and promoted.”

Sports today has become an integral factor in socio economic development of countries and regions that have developed their sports and infrastructure. Sports value chain mops up financial resources and enhances sports infrastructure that improves development and boost sports tourism. European and American countries have keyed into that and have harnessed sports for economic development and socio economic development of their citizens especially youths,

Digitization has brought in new trends in the development and promotion of sports as technology with the benefit of digital access and penetration has brought value addition to the entire landscape and participation of sports.

The media especially the social media is heavily saturated with digital sports contents that has taken the development and promotion especially traditional sports

On the desirability and scope of an international sports and games by the General Conference. UNESCO published in 2003 the world Sports Encyclopedia which by far exceeded the ambitions of enlisting all TSG. The Convention for safeguarding the intangible heritage was adopted by the General Assembly Conference of UNESCO.

On 8 December 2017, the secretariat convened a technical Group meeting that discussed and adopted the strategic TSG activities this included:

  • Elaborate Policy Guidelines on TSG on the ground of the draft Charter
  • Establish an International Platform on TSG
  • Develop an online worldwide Encyclopedia on the ground of the 2003 World Sports Encyclopedia
  • A group of Friends of UNESCO was established to create synergies with the member states and join forces and have shown support and interest in the domain by joining the group.

Member states were encouraged to take ownership of the TSG initiatives at the National Level through policy consultations and cultural events empowerment with a particular focus on advocacy for the safe guarding and promotion of traditional sports and games with the guidance and technical support of UNESCO TSG secretariat.


The TAFISA endeavors to safeguard preserve and promote TSG, in an innovative and progressive approach combining research, policy making and practice. Traditional Sports and Games are part of UNESCO‘s world intangible heritage. TAFISA has keyed into this and is the leading global Sport for All Movement for a better world in all continents.

TAFISA is committed to leading the safeguarding of TSG and their promotion worldwide. By their nature, TSGs are localized and regional, and should be recognized as the necessary counterparts to the globalized mass sports and culture of today, right alongside, music, literature and architecture. TSG are a chance to enjoy diversity and community in an increasingly globalized world. Traditional Sports and Games provide unique opportunities that mainstream sport may not. They are often based on fun and participation. Not competition, and provide a link to something bigger than sports and physical activity.

TAFISA cooperates with other change makers including the UN WHO, UNESCO, the IOC. ICSSPE and others and its mission is to create a better world.

TAFISA’s primary focus is on:

  • Providing global and regional networking and experience sharing opportunities for its members
  • Supporting member development by providing appropriate programmes events and consulting services.
  • Supporting and lobbying internationally for sustainable Sport for All and physical activity.

TAFISA has a mission by virtue of its privileged position to bring joy, health, social interaction, integration and development to communities and citizens around the globe through the promotion of Sports for All and physical activity. The Association has over 360 member organizations in more than 170 countries.


World Ethnosport Confederation (WEC) is a global coalition of federations of traditional sports and games established in 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey. The confederation hosts many traditional sports federations under its roof and aims to bring together these practitioners in traditional sports and create a common platform where these sports and cultures of people thrive and open a wider audience.

The primary aim of WEC is to preserve the authenticity of each individual culture of the global community. Ethnosport is a splendid festival of different people and cultures that seeks to create an activity trademark within the sports and culture circles alternatives to Olympic Games. It is committed to promoting cultural economic and political convergence between countries hosting ethno sport/traditional festivities, which does not require construction of extravagant sport complexes.

World Ethnosport Confederation works to revitalize games’ historical functions as well as preserve and revive traditional values. An international organization established in Tukey to promote and safeguard the development of traditional sports and games. WEC hosts numerous events to bring international recognition to traditional games and aim to provide continuity. It has set out to give the past it’s due and build a new and better future bearing in mind a new generation that will take over protecting the traditional values.  Its operational activities has seen the hosting of consultations on the safeguarding and promotion of TSG and the project on the world Traditional Sports and Games. It has followed that up with the hosting of World Ethno sport Confederation Forums. The forth virtual forum held in 2021 focused on the digitization of TSG and Games. WEC has also embarked on the establishment of regional international committees to promote the development at regional level traditional sports and games.

Traditional sports and games play very important role in shaping societies through solidarity and cooperation, teaching many important values, and helping children transition to the world of adults. The new structure imposed upon the society social, economic, cultural and technological changes of the modern age saw the games drifted away from their constructive roles into a venture where the winner is always right and the individualist attitude always rules. This odd in the inherent values of games causes societies to lose or ignore their traditional values.


At the Africa Union, Sports is considered a real lever for development and a vehicle for peace that can contribute to the achievement of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.


ECOWAS promotes the development of TSG through the adoption of its sports policy in 2009. The Policy recognizes the role traditional sports can play in the integration and development of the region, youth empowerment and building bridges of peace and security in the region. The adoption of traditional African Wrestling Tournament as a community sport is one of its clear commitment in this direction. The study for the documentation of traditional sports and games in the region therefore is a bold step at promoting the development of several traditional sports and games in the region as an intrinsic part of its regional integration posture and expanding the scope of community sport.


The study to be conducted has the following objectives:

  1. To conduct a comprehensive study and document popular traditional sports and games in the region
  2. Identify major and popular traditional sports with wide spread appeal that could be developed and promoted as community sports
  3. List strategies for digitization of traditional sports and games in the region
  4. Proffer concrete strategies for the promotion and development of traditional sports and games in the region.
  5. Identify regional sports structures that can boost sports tourism in the region


The study draws justification from the following ECOWAS Policy frameworks and programmes:

  1. Article 61 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty – “ Member States undertake to cooperate with a view to mobilizing the various section of the population and ensuring their effective integration and involvement in the social development of the region”…. promote and enhance the practice of sports with a view to bringing together the youth of the region and ensuring their balanced development
  2. ECOWAS Sports Policy and strategic plan of action
  3. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goals No. 5 and 8
  4. UNESCO framework on development and promotion of traditional sports and games (TSG)
  5. ECOWAS Vision 2020
  6. African Union Social Policy framework on Sports
  7. African Union Agenda 2063


Areas of Focus

Data and information to be collected will focus on the areas identified below:

  • Popular traditional sports and games in ECOWAS member states
  • Organization and management of traditional sports and games in the region.
  • Traditional sports and games infrastructure in member states
  • Prominent sports infrastructure and sports tourism potentials
  • Digital platforms for digitization of sports in the region.
  • Private Sector involvement and funding for sports events in the region.
  • Private Sector engagement in Professional and Vocational Training for Youth
  • Sports policies and frameworks in member states


  • Submission of inception report and methodology which must be approved before commencement of study
  • Missions to be undertaken to member states for data collection
  • Submission of a written report in two official languages of ECOWAS- English and French. The Original text will be translated to Portuguese
  • Assist and participate in a meeting of regional experts and stakeholders to validate and adopt the study report
  • May be called upon to present the study report in all meetings organized to validate and adopt the report

Scope and Duration

A Resource Person will be engaged to carry out a study on the prevalent traditional sports and games in ECOWAS member states. This is with a view to identifying major and popular events with inherent potentials to be translated to community sports events in the region. The secondary aspect of the study will entail digital platforms that could support digitization of sports in the region and listing of prominent sports infrastructure that will boost sport tourism. The study aims generally at a comprehensive documentation of traditional sports and games and the strategies that will ensure the development and promotion of the events into popular sports in the region.

Work to be executed will entail the under listed activities and the period specified:

  • Development of the survey tool to be used in collecting data from relevant stakeholders and structures Member States.
  • Consultative meeting with the ECOWAS Youth and Sport Development Centre to agree on work process and methodology and areas of focus for the study
  • Data collection tools and strategies will be determined and finalized
  • The study is expected to be conducted in all the 15 member states of ECOWAS. Data will be collected physically in at least 10 out of the 15 member states of ECOWAS. Evidence of data and information collected from all the 15 member states is tenable
  • The Study should be completed within six weeks (6). Four weeks is to be devoted to data collection. The last two weeks are to enable analysis of data and preparation of the report.
  • Data collected/received, analyzed, and reviewed to achieve objectives of the study.
  • Preparation of report of the study, identification of strategies for promotion of traditional sports and digitization, and the listing of sports tourism potentials of the region
  • Furthermore two additional weeks will be devoted to the organization of a meeting of experts to review and validate the draft document submitted.
  • Preparation and participation in the meeting of member states experts and stakeholders to validate the report of the study and adopt the compendium, strategies and listings.
  • It is expected that the consultant for the study will work within the time frame allotted with precision and accuracy.
  • Data will be collected from the 15 Member States of the region. The resource person will ensure equitable selection bearing in mind the linguistic and geographical spread of the region.

Expected Outcomes

  1. New traditional sports and games practiced as community sports
  2. Information and data on traditional sports and games in member states
  • Strategies on digitization of traditional sports and games
  1. Listing of sports tourism structures in the region

Expected Outputs.

The following will be outputs from the study:

  1. A compendium of major and popular traditional sports and games in ECOWAS member states
  2. Strategic document on the promotion of traditional sports and games in the region
  3. Strategies for digitization of traditional sports and games in the region
  4. Identified regional sports structures that can boost sports tourism in the region
  5. A comprehensive Report of study

Profile of the Resource Person (Qualification/Eligibility)

Below is the profile of the prospective resource person required for the study :

  • Postgraduate degree in Social Sciences or Humanities or Liberal Arts  with specialization in development issues
  • Extensive knowledge of sports development policies and frameworks particularly on traditional sports and games.
  • Good knowledge of inherent traditional sports and games in West Africa.
  • Good experience and knowledge of scientific research methods, analysis and good report writing.
  • Proficiency in one of the three official languages of ECOWAS; working knowledge of a second official language would be an added advantage





  2. In the course of executing the assignment, the following tasks will be performed:
  Consultation with relevant ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre and preparation of inception report 2 days
  Methodology and data collection strategies finalized 3 days
  Commencement of survey and Data collection instruments administered in Member States of the region. 5 days
  Field work – Visit to  selected Member States  randomly selected for  follow up data collection 30 days
  Data collated, reviewed, analysed 3  days
  Drafting of report of study and development regional strategies 3 days
  Regional meeting of experts and stakeholder to validate Report of Study and other documents. 5days






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