By Jacob Ajom
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) have announced the launch of several initiatives to advance gender equality and economic inclusion across Africa.
The initiatives built on the NBA family’s collective efforts to advance equality and social justice in the United States, including the establishment of the NBA Foundation and the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition last year.
In Africa, the NBA’s and BAL’s efforts will focus on raising awareness of gender-based violence, supporting girls’ education and growing female participation in basketball at all levels.
The leagues will each use their individual platforms and resources to promote gender equality among fans and key stakeholders and collaborate with corporate and community partners on new programs and capacity-building initiatives that help minimize the gender gap across both leagues’ operations.
Additionally, the NBA and the BAL are seeking to work and partner with more African-owned enterprises across their business activities on the continent.
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“Social responsibility has been an integral part of the NBA’s youth development efforts on the continent for more than three decades,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams. “Following the establishment of the NBA Foundation and the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition in the U.S. and building on our broader efforts to help create a more equal and just society, the NBA and the BAL each look forward to deepening their engagements with partners, community leaders and other stakeholders to advance gender equality and create a more inclusive economic environment in Africa.”
“The Basketball Africa League is committed to fighting the stereotypes, prejudices and barriers that too often prevent women in Africa from realizing their dreams,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “These initiatives will help ensure that young girls and women across the continent have the opportunities and resources that will help them grow on the court and in life.”