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Speak Up Africa, Basketball African League, launches mentorship program on gender equality

Bukola Afeni
As part of measures to advance gender equality, and women’s leadership and employability in the sports industry in Africa.
The Basketball African League and Speak Up Africa launched a  mentorship program for gender equality in Africa.
On top of their low representation in sports, very few women are in decision-making positions such as head coach, club manager or referee. They are less
represented in management, marketing, management, or other disciplines in the sports industry.
Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League (BAL) have announced the launch of “Teaming Up: African LeadHERs meet BAL4HER” as part of the celebration of Africa Day.
African LeadHERs meet BAL4HER” launched by Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League focuses on
leveraging sport as a key driver of gender equality and social and economic transformation in Africa.
Through the  mentorship program, 6 young African female athletes from Senegal, Egypt and Rwanda will benefit from
the leadership and networking experience of six female leaders in the sports industry, within six months.
The mentees will be coached by mentors to strengthen their skills and knowledge on issues such as gender inequality in sports, mental health, public speaking, and storytelling.
The selected female athletes are Ndeye Dossou Ndiaye and Ndeye Fatou Beye from Senegal; Lama Fahmy and
Ghada Elzend from Egypt and Cindy Kolenyo et Fatuma Mukamugema from Rwanda.
The Basketball Africa League President, Amadou Gallo Fall, said the overarching goal of the league is to provide a platform in which young women and girls can take full advantage of the transformative power of sport.
“This mentorship programme is an ideal springboard to increasing women’s representation and giving a new lease of life to the sports industry”.
The Director of Player Development at the Boston Celtics and mentor, Allison Feaster, said sharing experiences is key to changing the way young girls perceive their careers and their role in the sports
“Mentorship is about cultivating confidence, inspiring trust in one’s abilities, and connecting young aspiring
talent to seasoned leaders who are invested in their development.
“Thanks to my leadership role in one of the
most respected sports franchises in the world, I can now create space for exposure and be a conduit to young
African women aspiring to work in professional sports”, she said.
The Executive Director of Speak up Africa, Yacine Djibo, said young Africans, and young women, are key agents of change at the community, national and regional levels,
“We need to support initiatives that enable them to realize their full potential to achieve the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
 Teaming Up: Africa’s LeadHERs meet BAL4HER” initiative reinforces the long-standing partnership between
Speak Up Africa and the Basketball African League”, she noted.
Djibo disclosed that the Basketball African League partnered with Speak Up Africa to celebrate World Neglected Tropical Disease Day by raising awareness and distributing Covid-19 protection kits.
” The  Basketball African League is also engaged with Speak Up Africa in the fight against neglected tropical diseases
(NTDs). In 2021, This commitment will
continue this year with a community-based outreach activity against NTDs scheduled on the sidelines of the Basketball African League”, she said.

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