Kyle Okposo had every reason to jump at the opportunity when he was approached to participate on a panel at the Global Africa Business Initiative’s “Unstoppable Africa” event, a conference organized by the United Nations Global Compact and which was held in New York last week.
Okposo’s father was born and raised in Nigeria, so the mission of the Global Africa Business Initiative – to capitalize on Africa’s potential as a global destination for business, trade and investment – had a personal connection .
But Okposo also saw value in being able to learn from the in-depth experience of the event. list of distinguished speakers, which brought together business leaders, politicians and philanthropists from around the world. In doing so, he learned lessons that he plans to apply to his daily life, including as captain of the Sabres.
“For me, my life right now is that of a Buffalo Sabre,” he said. “And that’s how I’m going to apply it in my life, and I’m going to try to take some of these things that I learned and help this team become the best it can be. I think a lot of the lessons that I I learned are very applicable and that’s what I’m going to try to continue doing. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for seven years.
The opportunity stems from Okposo’s involvement in the selection of Marty Walsh as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association earlier this year. From there, Okposo’s name reached the National Basketball Players Association, which was tasked with putting together a panel of athletes for the Unstoppable Africa event.
Okposo was part of a panel titled “Empowering Athletes – An Entrepreneurial Mindset,” also featuring NFL player Ndamukong Suh and NBA player Gorgui Dieng and moderated by WNBA player Nneka Ogwumike . The theme of the panel was how athletes use their platforms to contribute to their own communities and how these methods can translate into promoting economic growth in Africa.
Watch a clip of Okposo’s message in the video below.