Award winning actor and social justice advocate Forest Whitaker has joined a roster of NBA Africa's strategic investors.
Forest Whitaker is the CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), a non-profit organization that aims to promote the values of peace, reconciliation, and social development within communities that have been impacted by conflict and violence. The organization has developed the Youth Peacemaker Network as a network to build systems of peacemaking globally with main hubs in South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico, and the U.S. WPDI has also introduced its Peace Through Sports program, which combines sports practice and tournaments with workshops and events aimed at disseminating values of tolerance, nonviolence, and respect for human rights.
“I’m thrilled to become a strategic investor in NBA Africa as it plans to grow basketball’s presence across the continent,” said Whitaker in a statement shared by the NBA. “The game of basketball is incredibly inspirational, and my decade working in Africa has shown me how sports can be a transformative method of helping to foster peace, as well as an economic engine for socioeconomic development in areas of conflict. I deeply believe in the league’s commitment to youth empowerment and am so excited to work alongside the NBA Africa family.”
Additionally, bestselling author Dr. Dambisa Moyo also joined NBA Africa as one of its strategic investors. Dr. Moyo is also a Zambian public speaker and economist who is well respected for her views on public policy and global affairs. “I have loved sport all my life and I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to support basketball in Africa at an elite level,” said Moyo. “Basketball has a great capacity to be a positive force for communities across this amazing continent.”
Former United States President Barack Obama also became a strategic partner for the organization in July 2021.
NBA Africa will enter into its second season in March 2022 with 12 of the most elite club teams from 12 African countries. NBA Africa has dedicated its efforts to strengthening and expanding its presence in priority African markets while furthering its engagement with players and fans across the continent. The launch of programs like the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, and NBA Academy Africa will aid in their plans to achieve increased visibility.