Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday, August 13 opened the Giants of Africa Festival which will run for a week in Kigali, Rwanda.
In his remarks, President Kagame stated that the idea of being a Giant, among other things, is a matter of choice.
“Africans are Giants, we don’t need to keep being reminded, we should know it, embrace it and be the giants that we are and should be.
“Africans that’s who we are; we are brothers, we are sisters, we are each other. I am you; you are me and the best way to bring that out to everyone is through the talent of sports like today, “said President Kagame.
Further, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the Giants of Africa travelling the African continent conducting basketball camps for boys and girls, building courts, and facilitating youth outreach initiatives.
The week-long celebration uses basketball as a tool to educate and empower African youth to dream big.
“It has been humbling to reach such an incredible milestone and there is much to be proud of as we reflect on the last two decades.
20 years of service has only been possible because of the passion and commitment of every person and community that has come together to make Giants of Africa what they are today.”
Masai Ujiri, Giants of Africa Vice-Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors noted: “We have only just begun. There is an understanding that we need to keep going and a desire to learn from our journey so that we can continue to help more.
We are excited about the bright future as Giants of Africa continues to develop infrastructure and inspire African youth worldwide with programs focused on education, empowerment, and leadership, both on and off the court.”
Countries Taking Part in Giants of Africa Fest
According to Ujiri, the Kigali festival will bring together more than 250 youths from 16 countries.
Among the countries taking part in the in the inaugural Giants of Africa Youth Basketball Festival scheduled are Nigeria, Congo DR, Tanzania, and Kenya.
“The Giants of Africa Festival represents a momentous milestone for our organization. We will celebrate 20 years of empowering youth and honour the incredible communities that have welcomed us.
“Through this festival, we aim to inspire and encourage youths, while acknowledging their immense potential and the collective effort to create positive change,” he said.
To ignite the spirit of the festival, popular artistes such as Davido, Tiwa Savage, Sherrie Silver and Diamond Platnumz, among others, will feature in the opening ceremony and closing concert.
Further, he said that the key themes for the event include education, culture, and entertainment, saying that the festival strives to unite and celebrate the next generation of leaders across Africa.
About Giant of Africa (GOA)
Over the past 20 years, the youth of Africa has been a constant source of inspiration for the Giants of Africa.
Giants of Africa is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of African youth through sports.
In addition, Giants of Africa travels the African continent conducting basketball camps, building courts, and facilitating outreach initiatives to empower youth throughout Africa.
According to African Giant website, the organizations’ goal is to inspire youth from the African diaspora with programs focused on empowerment and leadership, both on and off the court.
Masai Ujiri is the first and only African President, Vice-Chairman and General Manager of a professional sports franchise in North America – the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors.
In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA Championship and the first NBA Championship won by a team outside the United States in NBA history.
Born and raised in Nigeria, with a deep passion for basketball, Masai began to pursue a career as an executive when his professional basketball career came to a quick end.
In 2003, Masai co-founded the Giants of Africa organization with longtime friend and professional basketball scout Godwin Owinje, based on the idea of using basketball as a means of enriching the lives of African youth, both boys and girls.
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Originally established in Nigeria, it eventually expanded into Kenya.
Since 2015 Giants of Africa has created camps and programs across the African continent, including in Ghana, Rwanda, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Benin and Somalia.
In addition, it has built courts throughout Africa and conducted outreach programs for communities in need, including two of the largest United Nations refugee camps in the world in Dadaab and Kakuma.
With a keen sense of purpose and commitment to the continent, Masai is driven to ensure that Giants of Africa has a lasting impact on the lives of African youth for years to come.