The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced that former United States President Barack Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner.
As a strategic partner, Former President Obama will help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across Africa, including programs and partnerships that support greater gender equality and economic inclusion. In this capacity, President Obama will have a minority equity stake in the new venture, which over time he intends to use to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.
NBA Africa is focused on expanding the NBA’s presence in priority African markets, deepening the league’s engagement with players and fans across the continent. NBA Africa will also continue to grow Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Junior NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa and NBA Academy Africa.
“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States, using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent. By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people,” said President Barack Obama.
Strategic investors in NBA Africa include a consortium led by Babatunde Folawiyo, Chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group, and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation (HFP), led by Co-CEO Tope Lawani. Additional investors include NBA Legends Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng (South Sudan), Grant Hill, Ian Mahinmi (France, ties to Benin), Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Joakim Noah (ties to Cameroon).
The NBA has a decades-long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg in 2010. Since then, the league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the launch of the BAL, etc.