In Zenata, the sounds of bouncing balls mix with coaches' orders. The children, ranging from 8 to 12 years old are caught up in the instructions given by Kita Matungulu, head of Basketball Operations at NBA Africa.
On June 27, the first court was sponsored by the partnership between AFD and the renowned NBA (National Basketball Association) opened. Emblematic of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the brand new sports facility was designed to host thousands of young people from the surrounding neighborhoods over a period of several years for various activities run by a local non-profit group.
More than 8,000 households currently live in the nearby slums. Plans for the new town and eco-city, sponsored by the Société d’Aménagement de Zenata and the Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc, were launched in 2012 with support from AFD. It is designed to support the three pillars of economic integration, environmental preservation, and social inclusion. Resettling current residents in decent housing and providing support is central to the project.
Sports, and more specifically the “Junior NBA” program developed with AFD, can play a leading role here, not only in helping individuals flourish and facilitating their emancipation, but also by helping them take ownership of their new home.
In Zenata, everyone involved in the budding town agrees that playing sports is an inspiring and unifying experience, one that can even fundamentally change the everyday lives of young people.