The African Football Academies Association (AFAA) will be launched on 17-18 July 2019 in Cairo, Egypt, during the final stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.
According to organiser, Mr. Gerrit Davids of the South African based, Gerom Media, Sports & Entertainment (Pty) Ltd, “The Forum is an independent initiative, and not aligned to any existing national or continental football structure, simply to allow custodians of grassroots football, to freely participate in the deliberations, during the programme.”
It will host heads of football academies and clubs from across Africa, as well as from the rest of the world, to debate the essential issues around youth football development on the continent.
The Forum’s main focus will be to reach consensus for the need to establish a representative voice for football academies in Africa.
Davids says, “The Forum will be tasked to come up with a sustainable strategy for African youth development programmes, and to manage talent in line with international best practice, inclusive of technical and emotional intelligence, of which the latter is a highly overlooked aspect of the overall nurturing process, during the formative years of these players.”
“Various interactive panel discussions at the Forum, will also feature debates on how governments could play a more supportive role, to enhance the sustainability of grassroots football development, and for national associations to implement much required policies, regulations and systems to accredit football academies.”
Davids added, “With FIFA investing USD 100 million in its Football for Schools Programme, over the next four-year cycle, it is imperative for academies in Africa, to align their structures, to also become beneficiaries of this funding, and to further enhance the technical development of their young players.”
“Youth football development has become a non-negotiable issue at many clubs around the world, and in some cases their leagues demand, that they have fully operative academies, to ensure that their players progress, from grassroots to elite levels. This topic will be a key item on the Forum’s agenda.”
“High performance and data analytics in international football have become compulsory tools, and the Forum will debate the current state of affairs on these critical components required, for sustainable youth development,” said Davids.
A wide range of programmes will also be launched at the Forum inclusive of the African Football Development Fund (AFD); the African Academies Cup Tournament 2020; the Euro-Africa Football Academies Partnership Program; the Stephen Keshi Football & Vocational Training Centre in Nigeria; the European Academies Technical Tour to Spain and England (September 2019), respectively.