The Football Foundation for Africa is an international social enterprise that seeks to drive investment in grassroots development in Africa, with the ultimate goal of creating job opportunities. We 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.

The story of FFA began in January 2015 when Allan “Obama” Onyango lost his life tragically in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A talented footballer and budding IT professional, Allan moved to Tanzania in search of work after failing to secure gainful employment in his native Kenya.

A year later under the leadership of Brian Wesaala, friends and former teammates of Obama organised the inaugural Obama Cup to celebrate their friendship and enjoy what brought them together, football. Following the successful event, Mr Wesaala decided to make Obama Cup an annual tournament that coincided with his visits home. Brian was at the time, based in Geneva, Switzerland, working as an IT professional with the United Nations.

In 2017, Mr Wesaala also decided to make the tournament bigger and use it as a platform to address unemployment among youths, especially targeting amateur footballers, hence the theme Tackling Unemployment through Sport. Brian had noticed that among his peers in football, many were unemployed having focused on pursuing careers in football that never materialised. He set out to use the tournament to assist amateur football to network for employment and business opportunities, enhancing their social capital.

He received generous support for the initiative, which ran under his 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 founder’s experience of living, working and playing football in Europe. FFA identified three crucial pillars that would help create a sustainable football industry, education, governance and infrastructure.

Mr Wesaala decided to launch the FFA in 2018, and by coincidence, an opportunity came to organise a tournament in Botswana. The initial plan was to go with the name Obama Cup, but after consulting, the organisers 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 envision working in 4 key areas, namely:

Empowering and Protecting Players

Creating Opportunities

The Natural Environment

Authentic Partnerships

Education is one of the fundamental values of any society.
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation of improving people's lives and sustainable development

The same equally applies to the football industry in Africa and beyond. The FFA will focus on delivering quality education targetted at young people with a passion and gift for the sport to enhance their employability and entrepreneurial skills

Participation in sports is key to the social and economic development of a society through the improvement of both physical and mental health of the people involved. According to SDG goal 9, “It has long been recognised that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.”

The same applies to football. To improve participation in sports good quality facilities are required, the FFA will seek to partner with various stakeholders (local, national and international) to develop Smart, Safe and Sustainable (Triple S) football facilities at the grassroots level.

By building a robust football industry across the continent from the grassroots up, the FFA aims to reduce the number of youths not in employment, education or training. The FFA is keen on developing players who can be valuable assets beyond their capacity on the pitch, by improving their employability and hence potential to engage in decent work.

We aim to ensure football in Africa contributes to growth of the economy. By promoting the sport as part of the creative economy the FFA aims to drive private investment into the industry, generating jobs, revenue, and and improving the quality of life.

Football is also a great way of engaging with young people on a regular basis – something that traditional health programmes, clinics and hospitals cannot achieve. The FFA in partnership with health organisations aims to use football as platform to provide health education.

Further the FFA will look into developing or promoting talents in the medical field that focus on football enhancing the health of players and others involved.

The environmental impact of football and supporting activities such as infrastructure development and maintenance, transportation, sports manufacturing, fan activities and behaviour need analysing and mitigation measures put in place.

We endeavour to address SDG 13 - Climate Action, SDG 14 – Life below Water and SDG 15 – Life on Land, recognising the importance of our natural environment to all our industries, including football.

The Football Foundation for Africa will seek the right partnerships at local, national and international levels. FFA will forge genuine alliances that are in line with its values and objectives supporting our mission to improve the number and quality of opportunities in the African football industry.

FFA will work with players in the global football industry including FIFA, CAF and other confederations, national associations and federations, corporate companies, academic institutions, local and federal governments, inter-governmental institutions, etc.

Partners

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