Rwanda’s preparations to host the NBA-affiliated African league playoffs and finals in Kigali scheduled for next month have gained momentum, officials said.
The development was announced during a press conference organized by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on the sidelines of the BAL Season 2 Nile Conference, which has just ended in Cairo.
The competition, which runs for the second season from May 21-28, follows a successful first year of the multi-year partnership between RDB and BAL.
Despite the covid-19 pandemic, the event not only showcased Rwanda as a world-class tourism and investment destination, but also showcased Africa’s growing sports industry.
The inaugural season also brought notable global figures, former NBA players and legends to Kigali.
However, in addition to this year’s competition, this season will see BAL and RDB collaborate on youth development and social responsibility initiatives in Kigali on the sidelines of the qualifiers.
“As we prepare to return to the world-class Kigali Arena to play our second BAL final, teaming up with RDB and Visit Rwanda reflects our belief that sport and basketball can be an engine of economic growth for the continent. “, said Amadou Gallo. Autumn President of the BAL.
“Rwanda continues to lead the way for tourism in Africa, and this partnership shines a light on an African continent that is creative, dynamic and ready to tell its story,” he added.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to Egypt, Albert Kalisa, who was also present at the conference, cited Rwanda’s willingness to host BAL and its fans for the second time.
“Sports and tourism are important for Rwandans at all levels. We have a responsibility to ensure that Rwandans continue to take pride in their culture and in all sporting commitments, like BAL, that elevate our nation,” he commented.
Eight teams from across the continent, including Rwanda’s REG basketball, which dominated the Sahara Conference in Dakar, Senegal, will take part in the playoffs.
The eight teams qualified for the BAL qualifiers are: REG (Rwanda), US Monastir (Tunisia), As Sale (Moroccan) and SLAC (Guinea) from the Sahara Conference, while Nile Zamalek (Egypt), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) and FAP (Cameroon).
REG qualified for the final eight playoff games as leaders of the Sahara Conference in a historic performance that saw the team lose just one game out of a total of five.