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Basketball Africa sees new dawn

THE Basketball Africa League (BAL), French Agency (AFD) and Public Development Bank of France have jointly committed to finance and offer technical assistance for projects that improve the lives in developing and emerging economies.

It was announced yesterday by AFD as an official partner of the Basketball Africa.

The inaugural BAL season will tip off Sunday, May 16 at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, with 12 teams from across Africa competing in the new professional league. The first BAL Finals will be held Sunday on May 30th this year.

According to a report from BAL organisers, through the partnership, AFD will use the game of basketball to advocate social development across Africa, with a focus on disadvantaged communities.

It said the partnership aims to advance access to education, wellness and greater inclusion of girls and women in all aspects of society as part of AFD’s support for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Together, AFD and the BAL will promote the sport en commun(Sport in Common) , a pan-African initiative established by AFD aimed at using sport as a tool for economic and social development in Africa.

Based in Dakar, Sport en Commun supports and finances sports projects that impact development and social cohesion in Africa. AFD and the BAL will use this platform to highlight inspiring initiatives that provide skills and opportunities to young Africans.

“I am thrilled with this partnership between the Basketball Africa League and the Agence Française de Developpement, which will help make sport a lever for sustainable development in Africa,” said AFD Chief Executive Officer Remy Rioux.

“This trailblazing league is a testament to the dynamic sports environment of a continent undergoing rapid economic and social change, and ushers in a new era of cooperation, working together through sports to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“AFD’s experience in driving social projects, combined with the love and passion for the game of basketball across the continent, will create a unique platform that will reinforce our belief that sports has the power to transform lives,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall.

“The BAL is the latest milestone in our efforts to grow the game in Africa, with the ultimate goal of impacting communities well beyond the court. We will use this partnership to provide Africa’s youth with resources, skills and opportunities they will utilise throughout their lives to influence positive social change for the continent.”

Following the conclusion of the inaugural BAL season, the BAL and its partners – including AFD – will host an Africa Youth Summit in Dakar, Senegal, where youth leaders and other stakeholders will discuss socioeconomic challenges and collaborate on practical solutions to address them, particularly through sports-related initiatives.

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