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Rising Africa Series

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 Thought Leaders Nigeria: a celebration of thought leaders, innovators, thinkers, problem solvers, and drivers of growth and development.

The Thought Leaders series is dedicated to promoting excellence in global leadership development. The series is aimed at young people that aspire for leadership and entrepreneurship roles in all sectors of the economy and the public sector.Through one on one interviews with leaders around the world, aspiring leaders can learn valuable insights and advice from those who have walked the path they want to take. We are currently focused on entrepreneurs and creatives who continue to forge ahead in spite of challenges to continually inspire us to forge ahead.

The Game Changer

Ugo Udezue was a successful NBA agent working for BDA Sports in the United States with a roster that included players such as Andre Roberson, Nenê and Festus Ezeli. However, he dreamt of creating and promoting a professional basketball league for talented players. That dream brought him back to his homeland of Nigeria where he created the Continental Basketball League (CBL). 

The CBL presented Udezue with another opportunity in the form of AFA Sports, one of the fastest-growing sports merchandising companies in Africa. AFA Sports, which means “Africa for Africa” has proven effective in creating a wide range of sports apparel and shoes tailored for sports and athleisure from an African context and terrain. Udezue serves as the company’s  CEO.

Ugo Udezue, CEO, AFA Sports. Picture: Supplied

What is the vision of AFA Sports?

We want to position the AFA brand to be the premiere sports brand company in Africa. Not only do we want to attract indigenous sport institutions, but foreign brands and investors to holistically develop the African and global sports industry.

Our goal moving forward is to develop a global audience by targeting mainstream sporting institutions in Europe and also developing a fast growing African conscious market.

AFA Sports is focused on empowerment. How so?

We have proven successful in creating a new industry and market in Africa which has in a relatively short period of time aided in creating employment, business, and investment opportunities for Africa and its people. We have poured our energies into providing talented African basketball players an arena to showcase their talents, and we have given sports teams a distinct and unique brand identity recognized by their growing fan base. 

One of AFA Sports most recent achievements towards enhancing sports development in Africa was the sponsorship of the Nigeria Women’s Basketball team – D’Tigress. D’Tigress broke the record by being the first African team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the just concluded FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and this had a turnaround on the AFA Sports brand,expanding our foothold globally.

Beyond becoming a recognized continental brand name, whatare AFA Sports plans?

AFA Sports currently has a flagship store in Victoria Island, Lagos, with plans of expanding to Abuja and Accra.

Beyond continuing to expand our sports merchandise offerings, we hope to prove instrumental in continuing to encourage and develop more sports programs across Africa. We are particularly focused on countries hat have suffered from a lack of investment in the past as we see the most opportunities to affect positive change for not just athletes but supporting businesses within those countries.

An AFA product. Picture: Supplied

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