…As 2015 AfroBasket Champion Olumide Oyedeji Attends Launch Event in Abuja
ExxonMobil, NBA Africa and PanAfricare today tipped off the 10th season of the Power Forward youth development program, which uses basketball to teach health literacy and life skills to secondary school students in Abuja, Nigeria. The season tipped off with a basketball clinic for 200 youth ages 13-16 at the Africa International College Kaura, which was attended by Manager, Media and Communications for ExxonMobil Affiliate Companies in Nigeria Oge Udeagha, NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head for Nigeria Gbemisola Abudu, PanAfricare Nigeria Country Director Dr. Patrick Adah, and Nigerian former NBA player and 2015 FIBA AfroBasket champion Olumide Oyedeji.
In advance of the season tip-off, earlier this week NBA Academy Africa Associate Technical Director Joe Touomou led a Jr. NBA coaching clinic for 45 coaches in the Power Forward program. Since Power Forward launched in 2013, the program has reached more than 200,000 youth and their communities in Abuja through life skills and public health awareness seminars, malaria prevention workshops, and basketball programming.
“For the past 20 years, ExxonMobil’s Malaria Initiative has provided more than $37.4 million (over N15 billion) in cash grants to partners working to develop community-based solutions in Nigeria,” said Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil affiliate companies in Nigeria, Richard Laing. “ExxonMobil’s Malaria Initiative works with non-profit partners and leading global health organizations to advance progress against the disease in malaria-endemic countries by supporting malaria education and awareness, improving access to tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, strengthening health infrastructure, and advancing research and innovation. The initiative continues to support malaria prevention and control programs in Nigeria, which currently account for more than one quarter of the global burden of the disease.”
“We’re excited to launch the 10th edition of the Power Forward program in collaboration with ExxonMobil and PanAfricare,” said Abudu. “With a focus on youth empowerment and development, we continue to use the transformative power of the game to equip our youth with the skills necessary to succeed on the court and in life. The Power Forward program is a core component of our broader efforts to make basketball more accessible in Nigeria, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to expand our impact in communities across the country.”
“The youth in the project have continued to sensitize their peers and community members on the prevention of diseases of public health importance,” said Dr. Adah. “They have embraced innovative ways to spread these messages, such as through social media or radio talk shows. Power Forward, which launched in 10 Schools in 2013, and is now across 40 secondary schools in Abuja, uses basketball to teach health literacy, including malaria prevention and personal hygiene, and life skills such as leadership, respect and responsibility.”
Last month, the Power Forward program commemorated 2023 World Malaria Day by engaging the program’s beneficiaries, alumni and other stakeholders in the Power Forward Malaria Youth Summit and Malaria Basketball Exhibition Game.
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. In 2021, the ExxonMobil Foundation, together with Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, along with employees and retirees, provided more than $163 million in contributions worldwide.
NBA Africa is a standalone entity formed in May 2021 that conducts the NBA’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL) and the league’s entities in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria. The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010. The league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through youth and elite development, social responsibility, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, an NBA Store, the BAL, and more. Last year, NBA Africa reached more than eight million youth across the continent through basketball development, life-skills programming and social media engagement.
NBA games and programming are available in all 54 African countries, and the NBA has hosted three sold-out exhibition games on the continent since 2015. The BAL, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and NBA Africa, is a professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa that that completed its third season in May 2023. Fans can follow @NBA_Africa and @theBAL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
PanAfricare is the future of Africa: development in Africa led by Africans. PanAfricare is a non-profit organization committed to the fundamental principles of delivering on the promise made by Africare 50 years ago of improving life in Africa, by building capacities, improving health, and contributing to household food security in the African communities we serve. PanAfricare’s projects leverage local resources for underserved communities to solve their own development challenges. In 2022, projects are implemented across seven different countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe.