Today, the 2016 Paralympic games will be officially unveiled in Brazil’s coastal city of Rio de Janeiro. The opening ceremony will be hosted at Rio’s majestic Maracana Stadium, which also introduced last month’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.

African is well represented at the games with 43 countries participating in the games. A number of African countries have performed very well at previous Paralympic games, and there is hope that African countries will claim a sizeable number of the 2,347 medals up for grabs at the 15th edition of the Paralympics Games.

The perennial achievers, who have always guaranteed medals for the continent include South Africa, with a strong 45 member team, Egypt (45 athletes), Tunisia (31 athletes), Nigeria (23 athletes), Algeria (57 athletes) and Kenya (41 athletes). In that order, the six countries are all ranked in the top 50 on the all-time Olympic medal table, and there’s hope that they will once again lead the continent’s medal hunt.

Olympic gold medalist, judoka Rafaela Silva (L), passes the Paralympic Torch to the Paralympian Thomaz Magalhaes (C), under the 'Christ the Redeemer' statue, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 06 September 2016. The Rio 2016 Paralympics will take place from 07 to 18 September. Photo: ANP/EPA/Marcelo Sayao
Olympic gold medalist, judoka Rafaela Silva (L), passes the Paralympic Torch to the Paralympian Thomaz Magalhaes (C), under the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 06 September 2016. The Rio 2016 Paralympics will take place from 07 to 18 September. Photo: ANP/EPA/Marcelo Sayao

25 African countries are yet to pick up their first medal at the games, having competed at previous Paralympic games. The countries yet to medal include: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, DR Congo, Comoros, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Côte d’Ivoire’s has claimed four medals from five Paralympics, while Botswana, Ethiopia, Libya, and Rwanda have claimed one medal each at the games. Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo are the newcomers who will be making their debut appearance.

The games will run from today and will end on 18 September.

We certainly can’t wait for the games to begin, and wish the African Paralympic athletes well.

Africa’s top 10 Paralympics medal list

In brackets, rank on the Summer Games’ all-time medal table.

  1. South Africa 280 medals (18)
  2. Egypt 165 medals (31)
  3. Tunisia 73 medals (34)
  4. Nigeria 58 medals (39)
  5. Algeria 57 medals (45)
  6. Kenya 42 medals (46)
  7. Morocco 20 medals (53)
  8. Angola 8 medals (61)
  9. Zimbabwe 17 medals (70)
  10. Namibia 3 medals (89)

Source: Statistics from rio2016.com and paralympic.org