Olopade seeks solutions to Africa’s sports problems at US business forum | The Guardian Nigeria News

by MMC
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A business forum bringing together top executives from sports management companies from around the world concluded in the United States, with Nilayo Sports Management CEO Bukola Olopade highlighting the need to address critical infrastructure gaps such as stadium facilities, transport networks and hospitality services. for Africa to open new avenues of economic growth and job creation.

The event, titled OLIN Africa Business Forum 2024, concluded on March 29 at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

Olopade said the success of sporting events depends on robust infrastructure and logistical capabilities.

In his opening speech titled: “Beyond Borders, Harnessing the Evolution and Opportunities of Africa’s Sports Sector,” Olopade said that while challenges persist, particularly in the area of ​​infrastructure development, they also present opportunities for investment and innovation.

“Through public-private partnerships and strategic investments, we can lay the foundations for sustainable sports ecosystems that foster entrepreneurship, talent development and international collaboration.

“My journey in sport touches both the public and private sectors. I started as a Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. It was during this tenure that I became intimately involved in the complex world of sports administration.

“My subsequent appointment as Commissioner for Youth and Sports marked a pivotal moment in my career, as it enabled me to launch initiatives such as the organization of the 2006 Gateway Games, Nigeria’s biennial sports festival. This edition, which was the first since its creation in 1973 to declare a profit, constituted a profound awareness of the untapped potential of the field of sport in terms of socio-economic impact.

Olopade continued: “The success of the Gateway Games has raised fundamental questions about the role of sport in promoting rapid and substantial socio-economic growth within our communities. It was this introspection that ultimately pushed me to seek answers beyond the confines of public service. As a keen observer and participant in the past, present and emerging dynamics of business in Africa, I recognized the imperative to optimize our limited resources and carve out a significant niche on the global stage.

He said the establishment of Nilayo Sports Management Limited emerged as evidence of the vision rooted in the lack of conservation of sport as a powerful instrument to drive positive change and economic prosperity.

“It is with this in mind that I approach our collective effort to harness the potential of Africa’s emerging sports market as a catalyst for global economic growth. The emerging sports market in Africa represents a threshold of opportunity, providing fertile ground for innovation, collaboration and sustainable growth. Our sports marketing efforts illustrate the untapped potential of the African sports landscape and its implications for global economic prosperity. In Africa, the sports economy, combined with the enormous potential of the continent’s athletes, could be a powerful accelerating factor
economic and social development,” Olopade said.

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