Newly elected president of the continental governing body for rugby in Africa, Herbert Mensah, recently participated in a one-to-one discussion at the 2023 Africa Investment Forum (AIF).
The AIF event, a marketplace aimed at accelerating transactions to close Africa’s investment gaps, took place on 10 November in Marrakech, Morocco.
During the discussion, Mensah advocated for the investment in sport across Africa, emphasizing the importance of unique investment opportunities emerging from the continent.
“With abundant talent and the world’s attention, Africa stands at the forefront of the global marketplace,” he said.
“It’s time to turn this potential into power, investing in ourselves, forging structures that allow our resources to fuel our own growth, breaking free from the cycle of export and import that hinders the realization of our true economic potential.
“With South Africa emerging triumphant as the World Champions in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the world once again witnessed the vast potential of Africa. To invest in rugby across Africa, is to invest in a continent of 1.3 billion people, utilizing the sport as a catalyst for both economic development and empowerment of the youth,” the Rugby Africa President added.
Mensah continued to emphasize the business potential of sport across Africa. Since his election as President, he has called for a change of mindset from African governments and international organizations to increase investment in rugby throughout Africa.
The sports fraternity in Africa is experiencing rapid growth, with the potential to generate jobs, improve public health, foster social inclusion and drive economic growth. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the industry was valued at $7 billion in 2018 with an expected growth of $12 billion in 2027.
Despite the potential, investment across Africa remains limited, with only 1% of startup financing directed towards the sport sector.