young people will be participating in the Junior NBA activities in partnership with AFD
The precarious camps that once stood to the east of Casablanca, along the Atlantic coast, are giving way to Zenata, a new, inclusive town... And basketball plays an essential role in making this ambition a reality.

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. 



Morocco, NBA, basket, ground, children
Morocco, NBA, Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi, driven to share

Ian Mahinmi (front center), a French basketball player whose father is from Benin and mother is from Jamaica, has been in the NBA for more than 10 years. The model teammate, who is widely respected within the league, delighted an audience of 120 children with his workshop. Mahinmi believes in sharing what others have taught him and regularly spends time on projects for education through sports, often in Benin.
Morocco, NBA, young girls
10,000 youth in Zenata, and soon more in other countries
Ten thousand young girls and boys between the ages of 13 and 19 will benefit from the activities offered in Zenata starting in the fall.

Other basketball courts will open over the next few years, not only in Morocco but also in Kenya, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and South Africa. In total, 5 million young people will participate in the Junior NBA in partnership with AFD.
Morocco, NBA, Young people, basket, internship
NBA Clinics
Ian Mahinmi and Kita Matungulu run “clinics,” which are basketball classes offered by the NBA where children ages 8 to 19 can learn the sport and its values.
Morocco, NBA, basket, partners, AFD
All together
The Zenata basketball court, which is the first tangible outgrowth of the NBA/AFD partnership, is part of the urban development plan sponsored by the Caisse de dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc and the Société d’Aménagement de Zenata.

Left to right: Yassine Haddaoui, Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc (CDG Capital); M. El Aydi (Secretary-General of the prefecture of Mohammedia), Amadou Gallo Fall, President of the Basketball Africa League; Mohamed Amine El Hadjoudj, Director of the Société d’Aménagement de Zenata (SAZ); Rémy Rioux, CEO of AFD; Jérémie Pellet, CEO of Expertise France; Mihoub Mezouaghi, Director of the AFD branch in Rabat; Ian Mahinmi, French NBA champion.
Morocco, NBA, urban pole
Toward a sustainable urban hub
The basketball court, set on the coast near a fitness court and just a stone’s throw from the future housing for the current slum dwellers, is an important building block of the eco-city project.

To improve living conditions for residents and make Zenata a welcoming, sustainable urban hub, the Société d’Aménagement de Zenata and the Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc are relying on an ambitious mobility plan, the integration of nature into the city, residential units that provide all the necessary local facilities, and plenty of jobs to be created in a modern industrial relocation zone.