Former President Barack Obama has plans to take the NBA presence in Africa to the next level. According to an announcement from the NBA, Obama is officially a minority owner and strategic partner in NBA Africa’s business, where he hopes to advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent, reports Afro Tech.
“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,” Obama said. “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. I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities. That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”
According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the league is honored to welcome Obama onboard and says that he will “support our wide-ranging efforts to grow the game of basketball on the continent.” Additionally, Silver claims that because of Obama’s great love for the sport and belief in the continent’s potential, “NBA Africa will benefit tremendously from his engagement.”
Obama’s progressive efforts in his role include spearheading programs and partnerships that show greater support for gender equality and economic inclusion across Africa by way of the league.
In this new capacity, Obama holds a minority equity stake in the league that he intends to use to help fund and expand the Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.
“We have growth plans for NBA Africa and having President Obama join our efforts is a recognition that through sport, Africa can take its rightful place on the world stage,” NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams said. “We look forward to working with President Obama and our strategic investors to use basketball as an economic growth engine across the continent and as a platform to improve the health and wellness of one of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing populations.”
Beyond NBA Africa, Obama has been busy building he and his family’s empire since concluding his time at the White House. As previously reported by AfroTech, the Obamas have launched a new animated series to teach young people about civics as part of their continued commitment to education.