The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the French Development Bank (AFD), France’s public development bank, are committed to sponsoring and providing technical assistance to projects. This will promote social inclusion by developing basketball infrastructure and implementing basketball programs, events and initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and select other African countries.
The NBA and AFD plan to collaborate and expand their common and long-term commitment in Africa by investing in infrastructure development, providing basketball equipment and training for youth and coaches, and teaching life skills in some African countries.
The NBA and AFD also plan to provide resources for local organizations and community leaders focused on sustainable training, mentoring and leadership development. Their popular mobilization will aim to combine sports practice with educational training activities to raise youth awareness on issues including sustainable development, education, health and health, nationality, social inclusion, gender equality and entrepreneurship.
“We are excited to partner with the NBA in Africa, because sport and sustainable development is a natural match”, AFD CEO Rémy Rioux said. “Basketball is the second most popular sport on the continent, and it can be a powerful driver for sustainable development, addressing the unmet needs in urban development, education, create new opportunities for young Africans, increase the value of openness, tolerance and gender equality, and connect communities and people.”
Sport is now an essential part of AFD’s strategy and a major tool for sustainable development, especially in Africa, where half of AFD’s activities are concentrated. In its sports and development activities, AFD aims to promote community sports by supporting local initiatives, diversifying financial methods, and creating national partnerships and mobilize the private sector to develop a dynamic sports industry.
The NBA has a long history of engagement in Africa with 12 African players born on the NBA rankings at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. There are over 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Hakeem Olajuwon Memorial Basketball Hall (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo (Republic of the Republic) Congo owner).