The Playbook: Expanding Value in the African Sports Industry - 2023 U.S.-Africa Business Summit
On Thursday, 13 July 2023, Corporate Council on Africa’s U.S Africa Summit held a panel discussion which spoke on expanding value in the African Sports Industry.
The panel, moderated by Sandrine Nzeukou, the founder of Tessa, a sports marketing firm focused on Africa, emphasized the importance of investing in the sports industry on the continent and explored various strategies to achieve this goal.
The panel commenced with Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, highlighting the imperative for African countries to explore diverse opportunities to boost their economies, including the sports industry. Ms. Akamanzi mentioned Rwanda's efforts to diversify its economy by considering possibilities such as hosting events and conferences to position the country as a preferred destination for various occasions. She also emphasized Rwanda's willingness to collaborate with sports organizations such as NBA Africa and Union Cyclist International (UCI) to enhance Africa's involvement and participation in global sporting events.
Victor Williams, CEO of NBA Africa, emphasized that the sports industry in Africa has not yet fully tapped into its potential compared to the sports industries in America and Europe, which are multi-billion-dollar industries. Investing in the sports sector in Africa could significantly contribute to job creation and serve as a driving force for infrastructure development, tourism, and the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, Vice-Chairperson of the Botswana National Sports Commission, emphasized the importance of job creation and how investing in the sports industry in Africa could help keep children off the streets, engage them in positive activities, and steer them away from illegal substances.
The session also touched on the statistics shared by Mr. Irumire Okhumale, COO of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). It was mentioned that the NBA generates 9 billion dollars annually, with 51% of it going toward the salaries of NBPA members. Moreover, out of the 450 players in the NBA, 73% are black players, as highlighted by Mr. Irumire Okhumale during the panel discussion.
Tebogo Lebotse Sebego highlighted that Debswana has made significant contributions to sports by establishing community football teams in towns where their mines are situated. In addition to this, the session emphasized the importance of government support in enhancing the sports industry across Africa and addressing gender representation.
It was noted that there is a concerning lack of girls involved in sports on the continent, and concerted efforts are needed to promote their active participation. Panelists answered questions relating to how to overcome challenges of lack of capital needed for the sports industry in Africa, how to localize talent and the technological pinpoints experienced by the people involved in the sports industry in Africa.
This event is part of the CCA's recently launched U.S.-Africa Business Summit. The U.S.-Africa Business Summit is a high-level event where representatives from the U.S. and African private sector and governments engage in discussions focused on key sectors, including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, trade facilitation, ICT, and finance. During these Summits, stakeholders have the opportunity to network, explore new business opportunities, meet potential business partners, and promote U.S.-Africa business. Additionally, they advocate to shape effective U.S.-Africa trade and investment policies.
Click here to watch the recorded session.