Sport for Development in Africa

Project description

Title: Sport for Development in Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Multi-state project: Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Togo
Overall term: 2014 to 2017


Through its impact on social policy and social integration, sport can make an important contribution to achieving sustainable development objectives. Sports particularly suited to this purpose are those that are widely played in the relevant country and do not require expensive equipment, such as football, running and swimming. Moreover, team sports can foster mutual understanding and strengthen social skills, such as the ability to cope with losing, and demonstrate the importance of fairness and tolerance. In Africa in particular, sport is a particularly important pillar in society.

As a tool in development cooperation, sport first came to global prominence in 2001, when a United Nations (UN) Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace was appointed. UN Resolution 58/5, which was adopted in 2003, emphasises the role of sport 'as a means to promote education, health, development and peace' and highlights the importance of sport in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. In August 2013, the United Nations declared 6 April as the 'International Day of Sport for Development and Peace' to raise more awareness of sport’s hugely important role. The European Union (EU) also promotes the use of sport as a tool in development cooperation. To further support this approach, the European Commission and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding in 2006. In 2007, the European Commission produced its White Paper on Sport, which calls for the promotion of sport within international development.

For the German Government, sport represents an important tool for achieving international development objectives. Sport for Development is a cross-cutting theme and a development policy tool. As such, it can contribute to achieving objectives in the area of health promotion – such as HIV/AIDS prevention – as well as objectives related to violence prevention, education, gender equality, good governance and environmental awareness.

The planned project is a multi-state project that operates in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia and Togo.

Greater use is made of sport as a means to achieve development objectives in selected African countries.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports individual African countries in using sport to achieve their development objectives more effectively. The participating countries were selected by BMZ with due consideration given to existing initiatives and country-specific approaches that make use of sport for development. Individual measures in further countries are envisaged within the limits of the available budget. The advantage of the approach consists in the synergies that arise when sport is linked with issues and target groups that are relevant to development policy.

The project also aims to establish close links with a broad alliance of professionally recognised international and German institutions (including the German Football Association (DFB), the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and FIFA) as well as with the corresponding institutions in the African partner countries. These institutions will harness the power of sport to make a contribution to development in Africa as part of the BMZ initiative entitled More Space for Sport – 1,000 Chances for Africa.

The role of sport in the activities initiated by the programme is to create greater scope for the promotion of development policy objectives. A key aspect of the approach is the inclusion of disadvantaged groups with a view to improving their ability to participate fully in society.

The programme’s four fields of activity include providing infrastructure and equipment, ensuring sports facilities are used appropriately, organising initial and further training, and supporting the networking process.



Hannes Bickel

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