The NBA announced that former President Barack Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner.
President Obama will help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent, 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 conducts the league’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League, which held its inaugural season in May featuring 12 of the top club teams from 12 African countries.
NBA Africa is focused on expanding the NBA’s presence in African markets and continuing to grow Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Jr. NBA, NBA Academy Africa and more.
In addition, NBA Africa has launched several social responsibility initiatives aimed at raising awareness of gender-based violence, supporting girls’ education, and improving the livelihoods of African youth and families.
“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States and 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,” said President Barack Obama, according to the press release.
Strategic investors in NBA Africa include a consortium led by Babatunde “Tunde” Folawiyo, Chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group, and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation, led by Co-CEO Tope Lawani.
Additional investors in NBA Africa include NBA Legends Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng, Grant Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Dikembe Mutombo and Joakim Noah.