AFD, NBA Africa to expand basketball experience programme
NBA Africa and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have announced the official launch of the Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience programme in Lagos.
The flagship initiative, which was introduced in Lagos in November 2021 as a pilot programme, aims to use basketball as a platform to promote social inclusion and support secondary school children to become change-makers in their local communities.
The programme’s weekly basketball and life skills sessions will educate youth participants about issues including physical well-being, mental health, life skills and healthy living.
As part of the initiative, with the support of new partners, including the Lagos State Sports Commission, the collaboration will also support the renovation of outdoor basketball courts in Lagos and scale up the programme to reach more youth across the city.
The announcement was made at an official ceremony that include H.E. French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann; AFD Director for Nigeria, Xavier Muron; NBA Africa Vice President & Country Head of Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu; Dream Sports Africa’s (DSA) Nigeria Country Director, Michael Anejo and representatives of the Lagos State Government among other dignitaries.
“This programme demonstrates AFD and NBA Africa’s shared vision of using sport as a tool to foster gender inclusion, sustainable development and social cohesion in Nigeria.
“After the successful first steps in Lagos, we look forward to continuing to work with NBA Africa and engaging with the Lagos State government to expand the initiative to other parts of the city,” said Muron.
According to Abudu, “The benefits and values that come from playing basketball extend far beyond the court, which is why we are committed to making the game more accessible to Nigerian youth.
“Nigeria has a strong basketball tradition, and through the Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience programme, we are able to create more places where youth can learn the game and develop as players and leaders.”
This flagship initiative, which is part of AFD and NBA Africa’s larger collaboration to support basketball infrastructure in youth development across the continent, builds on the inaugural Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience launched in Zenata, Morocco in 2019.
In November 2021, AFD and NBA Africa initiated a pilot phase in Lagos implemented by the international non-governmental organisation DSA.
To date, the pilot phase has reached more than 21,000 boys and girls, aged 12-17 from 55 public and private schools in Lagos State.