13 new academies will join the Inclusive Sports Academies program launched in November 2022 and financed by the French Development Agency (AFD).

In line with the announcements made by President Macron at the New Africa-France Summit in October 2021, a 3-year program has been launched to support African sports academies in offering high quality education programs that promote youth employability and youth empowerment, of girls in particular through sport.

The program, implemented by PLAY International – Groupe SOS and the Diambars Institute, also aims to support the academies in encouraging gender equality, transmitting societal values (generosity, inclusion, respect) and developing sustainable business models to train the future leaders of tomorrow through sport.

The pilot phase of the program, launched in November 2022, supports 4 academies in Cameroon (Serge Betsen Academy), Liberia (LEAD MFA), Morocco (LEAD Morocco), Senegal (SEED Academy) and South Africa (Sunward Park High School). Following a pan-African call for projects launched in March, a new step has been reached for the “Academies Program”. 13 new academies have been selected to benefit from the expertise and support of PLAY International and the Diambars Institute over a period of 12 to 15 months, focusing on the following 4 areas:

  1. Gender Equality: To promote gender equality through training, awareness raising and greater gender diversity. An emphasis will be placed on the development of women for the performance of academies and their local and national influence.
  2. Education: To increase the commitment of students to their studies, give them access to greater career support and promote youth employability
  3. Economic model: To help academies build sustainable business models to ensure their financial autonomy after the “Academies” program.
  4. Child safeguarding and wellbeing: ensure and provide safe environments where the rights and needs of young beneficiaries are respected.

The integration of the 13 academies has been made possible by a solid partnership with FIFA. As the first technical partner for the Academies program, FIFA will bring an additional expertise on child safeguarding and wellbeing. The synergies developed between FIFA, Play International and

Diambars Institute will benefit to the 13 academies of this second phase, including 3 football academies owned by FIFA member associations.

The projects submitted by the winning organizations focus on education, social inclusion and capacity building through sport. They aim to:  

  • Promote active education for children and/or youth;
  • Include vulnerable, marginalized and/or disadvantaged youth, including children with disabilities ;
  • Implement mixed gender education programs that promote gender equality ;
  • Contribute to the implementation of at least 3 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely: quality education, good health and well-being, gender equality;
  • Encourage the access of young girls to the staff and management teams of academies ;
  • Demonstrate the will to embed the values of social cohesion, inclusion and gender equality in the academic and sports curriculum.

AFD, PLAY International and Diambars are very proud to welcome the following 13 organizations in the Program*:

  • Football Association of Djibouti (Djibouti, football),
  • OTA Academy (Cameroon, tennis)
  • Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (Kenya, athletics),
  • Football Association of Malawi (Malawi, football).
  • Football Association of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Mauritania, football),
  • Le Lycéen (Mauritius Island, multisport),
  • TIBU Africa (Morocco, basketball),
  • Cayor Foot (Senegal, football),
  • Senegalese Judo federation (Senegal, judo),
  • Zip Zap Circus School Trust (South Africa, circus arts)
  • Skateistan South Africa (South Africa, skateboard)
  • Academie Swallows (Togo, multisports),
  • Leading Youth, Sport And Development (Togo, basketball),

This second phase of the project will start in September with full diagnoses of each organization and the delivery of the first training courses.