The business of sports, spots management and sports entertainment will be the spotlight at the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) session focusing on sports at the IATF2023. Indeed, sports can be a massive economic driver within Africa. Didier Drogba, arguably the most successful African footballer of all time and one of the greats of the English Premier League, is among a list of speakers who gave his homespun take on the business of sports in Africa. CANEX at IATF 2023 is holding under the theme “One People, United in Culture, Creating for the World.
Drogba, a FIFA legend and the Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health for the World Health Organization, says his journey from football stardom is a testament to athletes’ impact in shaping the continent’s future. His passion for football led him to success, and now he’s thinking about how to nurture talent in Africa.
For him, the challenge lies in creating opportunities for the next generation helping them become champions. “This is where the creative industries can play a pivotal role in Africa’s development. Football teaches people to live together’’, Drogba said.
He highlighted the necessity to establish the ideal environment for players to grow as he turned his attention to football in Africa. “I believe that opportunities must be created in Africa and throughout the continent, giving children chances and establishing youth leagues. There are specific phases of practice that you must learn if you want to become a superstar, and we lack those”, he said.
In 2018, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) welcomed Drogba, to a session where the former African Footballer of the Year affirmed that Africans had the capacity to bring development to the continent.
Speaking at a session titled: “From Football Ace to a Business Executive: Leveraging the Brand Equity of African Stars” during the IATF2018 Conference, Drogba stressed the need for Africans to invest in African ventures rather than wait or depend on external parties to do so.
Drogba who was appointed an IATF 2018 ambassador said that he was ready to work with diverse business sectors and industries, and to use his image as a brand to make a difference.
This year’s event provided a unique platform for facilitating business, investment, collaboration, partnerships and inspiration amongst creatives across the value chain of diverse creative and cultural industry sectors from film, music, and fashion to culinary arts, sports, and visual arts amongst others.
With the global demand for African sports talent, entrepreneurs and professionals across the continent are spearheading initiatives that promise more financial value and structure for African sports talent.
According to them, Africans have the capacity not only in bringing development to the continent in various sectors but more importantly, in sports.