Rugby Africa announced the appointment of Ms Maha Zaoui as Women’s Rugby Manager and Mr Mudiwa Mundawarara as Referee Manager. Both newly created positions are key strategic pillars for actively driving the expansion of rugby in Africa.
Khaled Babbou, Rugby Africa President welcomed the new staff members: “We are very happy to strengthen our team of staff with two experienced and dedicated members. I have no doubt that the newly appointed managers will make a significant difference given their background of expertise and strong potential of the roles. We are at a tipping point where African Rugby is becoming more visible and to become a serious player on the global stage as well. Women’s Rugby is a game-changer and one of our strategic priorities of Rugby Africa where we can take leadership. Fair play is at the heart of our sport and consistent decision-making and refereeing at all levels of the game are necessary to provide for a professional framework for our member unions.”
As the new Women’s Rugby Manager Maha Zaoui will lead the strategic and operational development of female rugby with the goals to further increase the participation levels overall and to accelerate the evolution of the high-performance game. She is well known in the rugby world and has been a board member of the Tunisian Rugby Union since 2005 where she was charged with women’s rugby development. In 2018, she received a leadership scholarship from World Rugby and obtained a master’s degree in Sports Organisations Management with a thesis on the development of women’s rugby in Africa which was shortlisted for the Madella Prize.
Maha Zaoui is looking forward to her new role: “I am extremely honoured to take on women’s rugby development on the continental level. It is one of the key priorities of the confederation and an area where Africa can apply best international standards and make it one of our major strengths and differentiation factors.”
As Referee Manager Mudiwa Mundawarara will lead the implementation of the new Match Official Pathway within Rugby Africa. He is an expert match official with over 30 years of rugby referee experience on the pitch, 28 years on the administrative side during which he served as President of the Zimbabwe Rugby Referees’ Society, and is active since more than a decade as World Rugby Educator for match officiators as well as being a World Rugby accredited Citing Commissioner.
On his appointment he commented: “I am greatly honoured to have been offered this important role. I have worked with every one of the team members before, and I am really looking forward to working more closely with them all. Over the years, the support of the South African Rugby Union and French Rugby Federation has been tremendous and I am pleased that it will continue with greater emphasis on talent identification, on training and on coaching of referees from the rest of the continent. This will eventually lead to greater opportunities for them through a selection processes drawn from the strengthened development cohorts.”