Sport en Commun : an ambitious project leveraging sport as a vehicle for economic and social development in Africa An initiative of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the pan-African Sport en Commun platform was launched on 21 September 2020 and will be inaugurated during Finance in Common, the first global summit of public development banks, in November 2020.

Paris, 22 September 2020The pan-African platform Sport en Commun (Sport in Common) aims to connect project managers working on sport and development initiatives in Africa with providers who can fund their activities and support them in their implementation. The platform’s initiatives are driven by the conviction that sport is a powerful tool for development and that it contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sport en Commun addresses three basic needs identified by stakeholders in the sport and development ecosystem: funding, support and networking. By offering a wealth of services and opportunities, Sport en Commun provides practical solutions to accelerate the structuring of projects, capitalise on the funds available and direct financing appropriately according to the projects and needs.

Sport en Commun, a force for economic and social development

Sport en Commun was conceived following a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron in Ouagadougou in 2017 in which he described sport as a “tool for the youth and the economic and social development of Africa”. This ambitious project was assigned to the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in February 2018, and is now being overseen by the company Sport Impact, which is responsible for running the platform and managing its services and features.

Sport is a growing economic sector and is currently estimated at 2% of global GDP by the OECD, compared to 0.5% in the 1970s. The need for significant investment in Africa is apparent: the development of the sports sector remains unsatisfactory despite sport’s mass appeal. Although various projects exist, many fail to materialise due to a lack of resources and support. There is a lack of sports equipment and infrastructure throughout the continent and too few executives are trained in sports administration and sports management. The challenges are, indeed, numerous.

Perhaps most importantly, formal dialogue still needs to be established between the various stakeholders in the sports sector so that the industry can progress in a sustainable, positive way. This is Sport en Commun’s main mission.

“Sport en Commun’s objective is ambitious on several levels. The project not only promotes the Sustainable Development Goals and forms part of a long-term social and economic development strategy, it also offers concrete answers to an entire sector that is seeking an appropriate structure,” says Nelson Camara, President of Sport Impact. “We have been working for several months on the platform’s services, and Sport en Commun has already gained significant support from the sports world, NGOs and numerous stakeholders in Africa’s sport and development ecosystem.”

Ready with a wealth of options

In July, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport en Commun launched a call for projects specifically for financing “Sport and Health” themed initiatives, co-funded by AFD and FIFA. Aimed at African organisations and French associations and foundations, the call for “Sport and Health” projects will provide initiatives with funding of up to €40,000.

Closed on Thursday, 10 September 2020, the first phase of the call for projects has recorded more than 1,000 registrations within only six weeks.  

Another two innovative programmes will feature on the Sport en Commun platform:

> a call for “Sport and Development” microprojects managed by the NGO La Guilde, which aims to provide support and funding to sport for development microprojects in Africa and Haiti.

> the incubation of athlete-led projects within the framework of the partnership between AFD and the Organising Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Sport Impact Leaders: committed athletes

Sport en Commun brings together athletes who are committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. These are the real leaders of the platform, particularly among Africa’s youth, and they will participate in several events organised by Sport en Commun in partnership with local stakeholders. These athletes include Géraldine Yéma Robert, Séverine Desbouys, Amy Mbacke Thiam, Diandra Tchatchouang, Youssouf Mulumbu, Diana Gandéga, Aby Gaye, François Trinh-Duc among others.

The Sport en Commun platform has been launched on 21 September 2020 and will be inaugurated during Finance in Common, the first global summit of public development banks, which is being held in Paris on 11 and 12 November 2020.

About Sport en Commun

Sport en Commun is a pan-African platform, based in Dakar, Senegal, that aims to promote the support and funding of projects promoting development through sport in Africa.

By taking existing solutions supplemented by a range of tailor-made services, the Sport en Commun platform is positioned as a one-stop shop and pursues four main goals :

  • Facilitate and fast-track funding for projects of all sizes (micro, medium-sized and macro)
  • Promote and accelerate support for projects throughout their life cycle
  • Make contacts and interactions between stakeholders more fluid
  • Ensure promotion of the subject and encourage the sharing of experiences and feedback