In line with the announcements made by President Macron at the New Africa-France Summit in October 2021, a 3-year program was launched to support African sports academies. The program objective is to provide high quality education programs that promote youth employability and youth empowerment through sport, with particular focus on women and girls.
The program, implemented by PLAY International - Groupe SOS and the Diambars Institute. It supports the academies by encouraging gender equality, understanding and adoption of societal values (generosity, inclusion, respect) and developing sustainable business models to train future leaders, through sport.
The pilot phase of the program, launched in November 2022, supports four academies in Cameroon (Serge Betsen Academy), Liberia (LEAD MFA), Morocco (LEAD Morocco), Senegal (SEED Academy) and South Africa (Sunward Park High School). Following a pan-African call for projects launched in March, the newly selected academies will benefit from the expertise and support of PLAY International and the Diambars Institute over a period of 12 to 15 months. The program focuses on the following four areas:
- Gender Equality: To promote gender equality through training, awareness raising and greater gender diversity. The development of women is a key focus for programme implementation.
- Education: To increase the commitment of students to their studies, give them access to greater career support and promote youth employability.
- Economic model: To help academies build sustainable business models to ensure their financial autonomy after the "Academies" program.
- Child safeguarding and wellbeing: To ensure and provide safe environments where the rights and needs of young beneficiaries are respected.
The integration of the academies is made possible by a solid partnership with FIFA. FIFA, as the first technical partner for the Academies program, will bring additional expertise on child safeguarding and wellbeing. The synergies developed between FIFA, Play International and Diambars Institute will benefit the new participants in Phase 2, including three FIFA membership association owned football academies.
The winning projects focus on education, social inclusion and capacity building through sport. They aim to:
- Promote active education for children and/or youth
- Include vulnerable, marginalized and/or disadvantaged youth, including children with disabilities
- Implement mixed gender education programs that promote gender equality
- Contribute to the implementation of at least three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely: quality education, good health and well-being, gender equality
- Encourage the access of young girls to the staff and management teams of academies
- Demonstrate the will to embed the values of social cohesion, inclusion and gender equality in the academic and sports curriculum.
AFD, PLAY International and Diambars are very proud to welcome the following 13 organizations to the Program*:
- Football Association of Djibouti (Djibouti, football)
- OTA Academy (Cameroon, tennis)
- Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (Kenya, athletics)
- Football Association of Malawi (Malawi, football)
- Football Association of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Mauritania, football)
- Le Lycéen (Mauritius Island, multisport)
- TIBU Africa (Morocco, basketball)
- Cayor Foot (Senegal, football)
- Zip Zap Circus School Trust (South Africa, circus arts)
- Skateistan South Africa (South Africa, skateboard)
- Academie Swallows (Togo, multisports)
- Leading Youth, Sport And Development (Togo, basketball).
Phase 2 starts in September with full diagnoses of each organization and the delivery of the first training courses.
* Subject to validation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (AML-FT) due diligence.