AIF 2023: Rugby Africa president Herbert Mensah calls for more investment in African sport


Rugby Africa president Herbert Mensah has called for more investment of sport across Africa, emphasizing the importance of opportunities emerging from the sector.

Speaking at the 2023 edition of the African Investment Forum in Marrakech, Morocco, Mensah said: “With abundant talent and the world’s attention, Africa stands at the forefront of the global marketplace,” said Mensah. “It’s time to turn this potential into power, investing in ourselves, forging structures that allow our resources to fuel our own growth, breaking free from the cycle of export and import that hinders the realization of our true economic potential.”  

He added: “With South Africa emerging triumphant as the World Champions in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the world once again witnessed the vast potential of Africa. To invest in rugby across Africa, is to invest in a continent of 1.3 billion people, utilizing the sport as a catalyst for both economic development and empowerment of the youth.”

The newly elected President of Rugby Africa emphasized the business potential of sport across Africa. Since his election, Mensah has called for a change of mindset from African governments and international organizations to increase investment in rugby across Africa.

The sports industry in Africa is experiencing rapid growth, with the potential to generate jobs, improve public health, foster social inclusion and drive economic growth. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the industry was valued at $7 billion in 2018 with an expected growth of $12 billion in 2027. Despite the potential, investment across Africa remains limited, with only 1% of startup financing directed towards the sport sector.

The 2023 Africa Investment Forum brought together heads of state, business leaders, decision makers and investors to advance critical investment transactions to closure. Previous attendees include H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana. The annual three-day Africa Investment Forum Market Days event concluded on Friday August 10 under the theme Unlocking Africa’s Value Chain in Marrakech, Morocco.

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