South Africa joining the EGF

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Dear executive members of the EGF

We would like to explore the possibility of South Africa, and potentially other African countries, joining the EGF. We feel a keen urge to participate more actively in the global go community, and we believe that joining the EGF would be an effective way to meet that desire.

Currently, Africa has no continental body, and the likelihood of such a body ever being formed is very small. There are only three IGF member countries (South Africa, Morocco and Madagascar) in Africa, of which South Africa is by far the most active country (and by the standards of the larger EGF members even that activity is relatively small). There is at present no point in forming an African body, as South Africa is by far the major influence in African go. For example, when we participated in the Toyota-Densa Oza tournaments (last held in 2008), South Africa was tasked with handling the African aspect of the event.

We currently have about 100 active players, of which about 15 are dan level, the strongest being Victor Chow 7d, who is probably well known to some of you. We believe that having formal access to some of the events that the EGF organises, such as the Pandanet Go European Team Championship, would significantly spur interest in go within our country.

South Africa could also consider hosting some events. While the cost of flights to South Africa would probably rule out using South Africa as a venue for the European Go Congress, perhaps some other events could be considered. We do have experience of hosting significant tournaments, such as the Oza mentioned above, and of course, South Africa is an excellent tourist destination with many other attractions beyond Go.

This expansion of the EGF would also be in line with the practice that many international organizations adopt, which is to set up an EMEA division rather than separate Europe and Africa (and Middle East) divisions. This reflects the geographic proximity as well as the time zone equivalence – South Africa’s time zone is GMT+2, the same as Central European Summer Time.

Furthermore, we understand that there is already some precedence for flexibility in the definition of European, as countries such as Israel and Kazakhstan are currently members of the EGF.

If this proposal meets with your interest, we would need to discuss the next steps to reach this goal. We've taken a brief look at your constitution, and it's not clear whether it would allow you to add a non-European country without amendments. We also don't know what the level of support would be within your membership, or how you would gauge that. If direct membership is not feasible or desired, is there any other form of affiliation which you would suggest which could lead to closer cooperation?

There would also be some practical issues to debate, for instance, whether South African players would be allowed to compete for representation at international tournaments as an EGF representative. In this case, it may entirely depend on the organizers and sponsors of the tournament in question. A related topic would be whether South African players would be eligible for the new CEGO Go Academy system.

We would be grateful if you could consider our proposal at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards

Christopher Welsh

President: South African Go Association

Email details below

President Martin Stiassny Email: president @

Vice-President Jana Hricova Email: hricova at

Vice-President Leszek Soldan Email: leszek.soldan at

Secretary Tony Atkins Email: secretary @ ajaxgo at

Treasurer Hans Kostka Email: treasurer @

Executive Officers Ales Cieply Email: ratings @

Matti Siivola Email: rules @