Sport for development in Africa: ‘Sports grounds with concepts!’

Project description

Project title: Sport for Development in Africa (S4DA) Regional Project
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Multi-state project in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Togo, and individual measures on a smaller scale in other Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, DR Congo
Lead executing agency: National and regional ministries of education, youth and sport
Overall term: 2014 to 2018

Sport for Development in Africa. Qualified trainers are important role models for children and youth, who ask them for advice. © GIZ / Ruth Lumbasi


The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development emphasises that the impact of sport in the areas of social policy and social integration contributes greatly to sustainable development. This has been recognised internationally since at least 2003, when the United Nations passed Resolution 58/5 entitled ‘Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace’.

Despite the huge enthusiasm for sport, little use is made of it for achieving development goals in many African countries. Often there are not sufficient sports grounds, viable strategies or qualified local staff available.

Sport for Development in Africa. Sport appeals most of all to children and young people and promotes important everyday skills through fun and play. © GIZ / Stefan Oosthuizen

Sport offers an innovative approach to accessing disadvantaged groups and encouraging social skills such as fairness, tolerance, team spirit and constructive ways of dealing with losing and with conflicts. These abilities contribute not only to peaceful co-existence, but also to improving future prospects. 'Sport for Development' brings together players from politics, civil society, business and academia, thus promoting a common approach to sustainable development in Africa. The 'Sport for Development in Africa' Regional Project thus also promotes implementation of the initiative More Space for Sport – 1,000 Chances for Africa, which was launched by German Development Minister Müller in 2014.


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


Numerous measures are being implemented in cooperation with the partners:

  • At selected locations, grass root sports grounds are being either built or rehabilitated.
  • The project uses training measures to enhance the partners’ management skills, develop concepts for sustainable use of concepts of sports grounds and integrate 'Sport for Development' measures. The motto here is ‘Sports grounds with concepts!’ Trained trainers work at the sports grounds, offering activities based on methods developed with partners that provide qualifications for the labour market, teach strategies for peaceful conflict resolution and focus on positive personality development.
Sport for Development in Africa. Sport appeals most of all to children and young people and promotes important everyday skills through fun and play. © GIZ / Stefan Oosthuizen

The partners include schools and vocational schools, municipalities, national sports associations, local non-governmental organisations, Don Bosco Mondo, SOS Children's Villages, streetfootballworld, Dr Auma Obama’s foundation Sauti Kuu and many other organisations.


Together with more than 150 partners in nine countries, the project has so far achieved the following results:

  • More than 57,000 children and young people benefit from the 34 sports grounds that have been either created or rehabilitated to date.
  • Around 230 trainers have been trained so far to integrate the 'Sport for Development' approach into their training. They are important role models both on and off the field.
  • Over 100 instructors have received training in the methodology of 'Sport for Development'. They act as multipliers to train other trainers.
  • 'Sport for Development' promotes gender equality. Around one third of those who have been trained are women.
  • The Sport2Work method has been developed in Ethiopia. It promotes vocational education through sport as the foundation for trainer training.
  • The Football Kenya Federation has incorporated the 'Sport for Development' approach into its training for trainers in order to disseminate it across the country.
  • In Mozambique, the Pedagogical University in Maputo has integrated the approach into its training for sports teachers. University graduates apply their new knowledge during teaching practice in schools and communities.
  • The Namibia Schools Sport Union, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sport have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the project. This means that the 'Sport for Development' approach can be established more firmly in Namibia’s school system.
  • The 'Sport for Development in Africa' Regional Project supports networking. In Togo, the existing municipal committees encourage more focus on the citizens and their participation, which improves the dialogue between local governments and civil society.