NBA Africa has announced that global economist and best-selling author Dr. Dambisa Moyo and Academy Award-winning actor and social activist Forest Whitaker have joined NBA Africa as strategic investors. Dr. Moyo, who was born in Zambia, is a global economist, author and international public speaker.

She previously served as a consultant for the World Bank as a research economist and strategist at Goldman Sachs. She has also written four New York Times best-selling books about macroeconomics, global affairs and corporate governance. Dr. Moyo holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA from American University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford.

Whitaker, an American actor, producer, director, humanitarian and activist, has been recognized with a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Film Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and the 2006 Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2011, he was inducted as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Goodwill Ambassador.

He is also the CEO of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), a non-profit that aims to promote the values of peace, reconciliation and social development within communities impacted by conflict and violence. Through WPDI, Whitaker has developed the Youth Peacemaker Network, a global peacebuilding network with hubs in South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico, and the U.S. WPDI is active in the area of sports through its Peace Through Sports program, which combines sports practice and tournaments with workshops and events aimed at disseminating values of tolerance, nonviolence, and respect for human rights.

“We are delighted to welcome Dambisa and Forest to the NBA Africa family. They are both accomplished humanitarians whose expertise, resources and guidance will add tremendous value to our existing investor group. We thank them for their commitment and belief in our efforts to use basketball as an economic growth engine and as a vehicle to positively impact the lives of youth across the continent,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.

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. This is through social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the launch of the BAL, and more.

On May 30th, Egypt’s Zamalek defeated US Monastir from Tunisia 76-63 to win the inaugural BAL Championship, which was broadcast to fans in 215 countries and territories in 15 languages.