National Basketball Association (NBA), a professional basketball league in the U.S., has appointed former president Barack Obama as an NBA Africa strategic partner.
KAMPALA | LIFESTYLE UGANDA — National Basketball Association (NBA) which is a basketball league in North America announced that former US President Barack Obama is now a strategic partner of the NBA Africa program.
Obama will help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts throughout Africa, including programs and partnerships that promote greater gender equality and economic inclusion.
Through this venture, President Obama will own a minority stake, which he plans to use to fund the Obama Foundation’s youth and leadership programs across Africa in the future.
Its mission is to increase NBA engagement with players and fans across Africa while continuing to expand Africa’s basketball ecosystem through initiatives such as the Junior NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, and the NBA Academy Africa.
NBA Africa has also launched several social responsibility initiatives aimed at raising awareness of gender-based violence, supporting girls’ education, and improving the lifestyles of African youth and their families.
The NBA has always been an ambassador for the United States, using basketball to build connections throughout the world. In Africa, basketball promotes opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment,” said President Barack Obama.
Through investing in communities, advocating gender equality, and cultivating a love for the game of basketball, NBA Africa can be a key influence over so many of Africa’s young people.
”I am impressed by the NBA’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership of so many African players who want to contribute to their own countries and communities, which is why I am thrilled to join the NBA Africa team and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many nations.”
The NBA Commissioner said he was honoured that President Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner and will support its wide-ranging efforts to grow basketball on the continent.
”Besides his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a strong belief in Africa’s potential and the tremendous growth opportunities that exist through sports; NBA Africa will benefit immensely from his engagement.”
“Our plans for NBA Africa are ambitious, and having President Obama support us is a recognition that Africa is ready to take its rightful place on the world stage through sport,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.
One of NBA Africa’s strategic investors is a consortium led by Babatunde Folawiyo, chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group, and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation (HFP), led by Tope Lawani.
The NBA Africa board also includes NBA legends Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng (South Sudan), Grant Hill, Ian Mahinmi (France, Benin), Dikembe Mutombo (DRC), and Joakim Noah (Cameroon).
Founded in 1947, the NBA (https://www.nba.com/) has a long historical association with Africa. In 2010, the NBA opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Through its efforts on the continent, the NBA has tried to connect Africans to basketball and the NBA by focusing on social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the BAL, and more.