The Basketball African League and Speak Up Africa launch mentorship program for gender equality in Africa

Press Release • 25 May 2023

Dakar, 25 May 2023- On the occasion of Africa Day, Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League (BAL) have announced the launch of « Teaming Up: African LeadHERs meet BAL4HER ». This sports mentorship program is part of Speak Up Africa’s “African LeadHERs” movement and BAL’s BAL4HER platform. It aims to advance gender equality, and women’s leadership and employability in the sports industry in Africa.

Gender imbalances in the sports industry remain considerable. On top of their low representation in sports, very few women are in decision-making positions such as head coach, club manager or referee. They are less represented in management, marketing, management, or other disciplines in the sports industry.  « Teaming Up: African LeadHERs meet BAL4HER » launched by Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League focuses on leveraging sport as a key driver of gender equality and social and economic transformation in Africa.  Through this mentorship program, 6 young African female athletes from Senegal, Egypt and Rwanda will benefit from the leadership and networking experience of six female leaders in the sports industry. Over a period of six months, the mentees will be coached by mentors to strengthen their skills and knowledge on issues such as gender inequality in sport, mental health, public speaking, and storytelling.

The selected participants are:

  • Ndeye Dossou Ndiaye (Senegal), Women’s Program Coordinator& Coach, NBA Academy Africa
  • Ndeye Fatou Beye (Senegal), Basketball Operations & Scouting, SEED project
  • Lama Fahmy (Egypt), Coaching and Player Development, New Giza Basketball Academy (NGBA)
  • Ghada Elzend (Egypt), Partnerships & Communication, Bayine Sport
  • Cindy Shirlley Kolenyo (Kenya), Communications & Public relations
  • Fatuma Mukamugema (Rwanda), Community Engagement & Basketball Development, Shooting Touch

« The overarching goal of our league is to provide a platform in which young women and girls can take full advantage of the transformative power of sport. This mentorship programme is an ideal springboard to increasing women’s representation and give a new lease of life to the sports industry ».

Amadou Gallo Fall, Basketball Africa League President

Allison Feaster, Vice President, Team Operations & Organizational Growth and mentor on this program said that sharing experiences is key to changing the way young girls perceive their careers and their role in the sports industry.

« Mentorship is about cultivating confidence, inspiring trust in one’s abilities, and connecting young aspiring talent to seasoned leaders who are invested in their development. Thanks to my leadership role in one of the most respected sports franchises in the world, I can now create space for exposure and be a conduit to young African women aspiring to work in professional sports. It is an honor and privilege for me, and I can’t wait to empower and engage in a meaningful way with these future leaders! ».

Allison Feaster, Director of Player Development at the Boston Celtics

« Young Africans, and young women, are key agents of change at the community, national and regional levels, across all sectors. We need to support initiatives that enable them to realize their full potential to achieve the African Union’s Agenda 2063. »

Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa

« Teaming Up: Africa’s LeadHERs meet BAL4HER » initiative reinforces the long-standing partnership between Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League. In addition to its commitment to gender equality, the Basketball African League is also engaged with Speak Up Africa on the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In 2021, the Basketball African League partnered with Speak Up Africa to celebrate World Neglected Tropical Disease Day through raising awareness and distributing Covid-19 protection kits. This commitment will continue this year with a community-based outreach activity against NTDs scheduled on the sidelines of the Basketball African League « Finals » from 21-27 May 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda.

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