Basketball Africa League (BAL) president Amadou Gallo Fall has opened up about Rwanda’s potential to become a sports hub not just for Rwandans but also people from across the world.
Fall made the remarks on Monday, August 14, during the ground breaking ceremony for Zaria Court, a project expected to create over 500 jobs and feature an 80-room boutique hotel, restaurants, a rooftop lounge, a gym, wellness spaces, co-working spaces, and a podcast studio.
In his speech, the BAL boss hailed the Rwandan government for its commitment to sports, referring to the role that the country has played in the BAL since its inaugural season in 2021.
He talked about Rwanda as a unique place that allows “us to showcase the incredible talent we have.”
“This is going to be a hub for sports and entertainment. We’re going to create a product that the whole world is going to consume. People are going to continue to travel here from all parts of the world,”
“We see it every day of each of the past seasons of the Basketball Africa League. People are traveling from all over the world to come here. It’s only going to continue to get better.”
“We are going to get our fair share in the global sports and entertainment market, which contributes over 2 percent of global GDP. In Africa, we are nowhere yet on the radar, but we’re changing that. We’re going to change that, and things like this are going to continue,”He said.
Fall pledged to work together with Rwanda and more stakeholders to create talent on and off the court that can drive the sports industry, create jobs, and have young people from across the world of African descent want to come back.
“A brief example of the three years we’ve been here; we’re seeing the impact. Your investment and your vision, I’m telling you. The Rwanda women’s team that I watched here in the Afrobasket last weekend, being in the top four in Africa. That’s a big deal. And the young men’s team in the AfroCAN in Angola, finishing with a bronze medal. That’s a big deal. This is basketball,”He said.
He also gave an example of how the domestic league has improved, how far the game has grown giving an instance of how competitive the Rwandan Basketball league has become.
“Two days ago, I went to Lycee de Kigali to watch a local game, Patriots and APR. Incredible! I’m talking about a high octane, fast-paced showcasing great skills on the court. And guess what? A lot of important players who were playing for other teams in the BAL are here. I was told Ater Majok and Michael Dixon, who was the MVP two years ago when US Monastir won, were playing [for Patriots],”He said.
Rwanda is stepping up efforts to promote the sports sector, and tap into the benefits of the development that can come with it. The country is improving its sports infrastructure, mainly basketball courts and stadiums, so as to provide opportunities for the youngsters who want to pursue sports as a profession, but also take advantage of sports tourism.
Source: The New Times