Presenting the nominees: Football Foundation for Africa
Category: For social responsibility activities
The Football Foundation for Africa is a social enterprise that seeks to drive investment in grassroots development in Africa, with the ultimate goal of creating job opportunities.
They also aim to protect the foundations of African football, namely talent and passion, through the promotion of better governance of the beautiful game at all levels:
Your project that involves so many young people and helps them find jobs is really incredible, where did the idea of creating such a project come from?
Thank you! FFA Cup was born out of another tournament, Obama Cup. Obama Cup is an annual tournament held in Nairobi, Kenya in honor of a friend and former teammate at Strathmore University FC, Allan “Obama” Onyango. Allan Onyango died tragically in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in January 2015. He had moved to Tanzania after failing to secure gainful employment in his native Kenya. I organized the first edition in January 2016, just as a way of bringing my friends and former teammates together.
In 2017, I decided to make the tournament bigger and also use it as a platform to address unemployment among youths, especially targeting amateur footballers, hence the theme Tackling Unemployment through Sport. I received great support for the initiative, which ran under my blog, brianwesaala.com.
After publishing the report of the 2017 edition, the idea of setting up The Football Foundation for Africa (FFA) was born. The goal was to improve amateur/grassroots football in Africa, something that was also informed by the experience of living, working and playing football in Europe (Geneva, Switzerland).
I decided to launch the FFA in 2018, and by coincidence, an opportunity came to organize a tournament in Botswana. The initial plan was to go with the name Obama Cup, but after consulting, we decided to call the tournament FFA Cup with our eyes set on the continent. FFA Cup 2018, therefore, doubled up as the launch of the Football Foundation for Africa. We plan to take FFA Cup to various villages, towns and cities across Africa.
What are the main goals of FFA?
FFA seeks to drive more investment into grassroots football in Africa with a view of improving the quality of opportunities available to footballers in the sport and beyond. We envision working in 3 key areas, namely Education, Infrastructure and Governance. We can summarise our main goals as:
- Transfer of knowledge in all its spheres to the African game through themed tournaments, workshops, etc.
- Mobilize resources for the development and maintenance of sustainable football facilities in Africa.
We believe a sustainable and thriving football industry in Africa can greatly expand the employment space for youths and contribute to the socio-economic growth of the continent.
What is the hardest thing to deal with that you face in your projects?
Internal capacity building: Our organization is still in its infancy, and we, therefore, face numerous challenges. As the founder, my biggest challenge has been to get the right skills on board. Currently, I am the only one working full-time for the organization with our project teams made up entirely of volunteers. As the organization grows, I trust we will be able to attract people who can share the vision and bring invaluable skills and resources to our projects.