National Basketball Association Expanding the Game of Basketball in Africa

December 22, 2022
National Basketball Association

By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh

After the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington in mid-December, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has agreements to open and further expand American sports in Dakar, Senegal and Lagos, Nigeria.

Reports say the NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2010 and additional offices in Dakar, Senegal, and Lagos, Nigeria, in 2022. The league is committed to expanding efforts to make the game of basketball and the NBA more accessible across the continent.

For the 2022 season, following the establishment of a standalone entity in 2021, NBA Africa expanded its multi-year agreement with ESPN Africa to air a record of more than 180 regular-season and playoff games across Africa each season, launched Africa’s first NBA Store in Johannesburg and announced their plans to launch the league’s fourth African office in Cairo, Egypt in early 2023.

The league recently announced the return of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) for its third season, which will be held from March-May, 2023 in Senegal, Egypt and Rwanda.

The NBA Africa and BAL continue to attract world-class marketing partners, including the BAL Foundational Partners Rwanda Development Board (RDB), NIKE, Jordan Brand, and Wilson, alongside NBA Africa’s recent collaborations with ESPN Africa, Afrosport, KFC Africa (Pan-Africa), Africell (Angola), Stanbic Bank (South Sudan), and Maven Developments (Egypt).

The third BAL season is expected to increase revenue in the hospitality industry by bringing tens of thousands of hotel room nights to host cities, boosting the local aviation industry, and engaging hundreds of young women through the BAL4Her social campaign, and betting on PG.

In addition, NFE and the BAL will continue their “Threes for Trees” campaign, an initiative that aims to donate more than 100,000 trees to farmers and non-profit environmental organizations in a number of African countries.

The US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington brought together leading US and African businesses, investors, and government leaders about fostering economic and community development between both the United States and Africa.

Held under the directorship of President Joe Biden and the Chairman of the African Union and Senegalese President Macky Sall, the summit was the largest African gathering in Washington since the coronavirus pandemic. The first US-Africa Leaders Summit was held in 2014 during the time of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, from 2009 to 2017.

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