Africa is a continent that has been growing at a steady rate. It has been taking leaps in the fields of education, technology, entertainment, and more. But there is one field that holds the most potential in Africa – sports.
Sports has been touted by some as the way for Africa to emerge out of poverty and scarcity. It can not only lead to economic development in the area but also serve as a way to uplift the social and cultural dynamics of the continent.
This potential for sports to push Africa forward is fueled and supported by the fact that Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world. If all the signs are pointing in this direction, does this mean that sports in Africa is the way forward for the economy? Let’s find out.
What Is The Role Of Sports In The World Today?
Sports is one of the biggest industries in the world. It stood at almost $350 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to climb to over $500 billion in 2022. Developed and developing countries all over the world invest in this giant industry and witness incredible returns. Europe is leading in the biggest sports tournaments and investments but there are several developing nations as well which have a huge part in the sports industry’s revenue generation.
How Big Is Sports In Africa?
Africa does not have many accolades to its name when it comes to achievements in the sports field. There have only been a few big names in sports like Basketball, football, and cricket who have taken the trophy home and emerged as successful players from Africa.
This is mainly because the African nations popularly underinvested in the development of sports. The Basketball African League, which was launched by NBA recently, is one of the only few big sports tournaments held in the African continent.
While the Western countries have continued to grow bigger in sports and reap the rewards, Africa has lagged in developing the required infrastructure needed for the promotion of native sports. The sports management in the continent needs to change and take a 180-degree turn. There should be more investment in sports to train better athletes, provide them a chance to compete at the national level, and also support them in going to the international platforms.
The Potential Impact Of Sports On The Financial System Of Africa
Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world with about 70 percent of the people under the age of 30. Most of the people come under the category of ‘youth.’ This opens up even more avenues for sports in the near future as there is a huge segment of people who will be willing to participate in the games, watch them, and engage in sporting events.
Western countries generate billions of dollars through such sporting events. The African Cup Of Nations, which was held in 2019 in Egypt, brough in US$85 million in revenue. And this was just one sporting event. The potential financial returns from sports are still mainly untapped but they can definitely give a huge boost to the struggling African economy.
With all the right resources available, Africa has the potential to become the future hub of sports. Not only are there talented people ready to play, but Africa also has support from other countries such as Germany to invest more in sports.
Besides increasing the financial gains, sports provide several other huge benefits. It will put Africa on the world map and there will be an influx of activities like tourism. So, sports not only has the potential to generate direct revenue for the nation but also boost other related industries. All Africa needs is better sports management and utilization of resources, and we will soon see Africa hosting the biggest World Cups.