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Africa’s sports market could reach 20 billion USD by 2035

The current sports market in Africa is estimated at over 12 billion USD, and could reach over 20 billion USD by 2035. Sport is one of Africa’s fastest-growing industries, accounting for 0.5% of the continent’s GDP, and experts believe that it is a sector that can contribute to the socio-economic development of many African countries. And the African Export-Import Bank is keen to support this growth, especially in terms of financing sports infrastructure.

The partnership between the African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, and the Basketball Africa League, was announced in November 2023 in Cairo, Egypt. And the impact of this partnership is already being felt in Kigali, the city that hosted the BAL playoffs from May 24 to June 01, 2024. These young girls from several African countries are taking part in the BAL4HER workshop on careers in sport, organized by the Basketball Africa League with funding from Afreximbank.

“To develop, you need financing to support new initiatives like the Basketball Africa League. It is also through financing that we are able to support projects that have an impact on many aspects of people’s lives, particularly in the field of sport. The Basketball Africa League and NBA Africa presented us with such a unique project in which we saw an opportunity to use our resources to support basketball and everything it represents on the continent.”

Benedict ORAMAH, Chairman Afreximbank – Nigeria

The African sports industry is rapidly growing, even if its contribution to the continent’s GDP remains minimal at 0.5%. The current sports market in Africa is estimated at over 12 billion USD and could reach over 20 billion USD by 2035, if the right investments in this sector are mobilized by governments and the private sector.

“We support the development and construction of high-quality, multi-use stadiums and gymnasiums in Africa because we realized that there wasn’t enough sports infrastructure and that this was having a negative impact on business. You can’t promote sport in an empty space. We have to have them to develop commercial sport in Africa, otherwise we’ll continue to produce talent that won’t go anywhere, and those who do manage to leave the continent, it will be very difficult for them and it will be for others and not for us, at home”.

Benedict ORAMAH, Chairman Afreximbank – Nigeria

Some African countries like Rwanda have begun to make massive investments in the sports industry, particularly in infrastructure. The Rwandan authorities claim that these investments are having a major impact on the country’s economy, and that the same could happen to several African countries. In 2023 alone, the BAL brought in over 5 million dollars to Senegal through transport, hotels, entertainment and other sectors.


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