The NBA Africa yesterday announced its partnership with France`s inclusive public development bank, Agence Française de Développement, to invest in basketball infrastructure, events, and initiatives.
The announcement, which was made by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron during a basketball clinic at Lycée Français Louis Pasteur School, is in line with AFD’s strategy of making sport a major tool for sustainable development, particularly in Africa.
"We are thrilled to partner with the NBA in Africa because sport and sustainable development are a natural match. Basketball is the second most popular sport on the continent, and it can be a powerful driver for sustainability, addressing unmet needs in urban development, education, creating new opportunities for African youth, promoting values of openness, tolerance, gender equality, and connecting communities and people" - Remy Rioux, Chief Executive Office, AFD
According to President Macron, the AFD and NBA will equally contribute $6m each to touch the lives of over 5,000 youth in Africa. The fund will be used to develop basketball infrastructure, provide basketball equipment and training to local coaches, teach life skills in selected African countries, and to provide resources to local organizations and community leaders that focus on sustainable coaching, mentoring and leadership development.
"We are excited to work with AFD, which shares our commitment to using sports as a vehicle to drive positive social and economic change in Africa. We look forward to collaborating with the AFD in scaling up our efforts in Africa, and to identify new opportunities to use the transformative power of basketball as a platform for youth development across the continent" - NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall.
Since opening its office in South Africa 8 years ago, NBA Africa has continuously invested in youth development and capacity building programmes across the continent including Basketball Without Borders, Jr NBA league, NBA Cares, and the recent NBA Academy Africa in Senegal.