The former president of the United States, Barack Obama joins the newly formed NBA Africa as minority stake owner. The NBA Africa was inaugurated in May 2021 featuring 12 teams from 12 African countries. The league is valued nearly at $1 billion and has investors from former NBA players such as Dikembe Mutombo.
The NBA Africa posted a video of Obama on Instagram on which the former president shares his excitement of becoming a partner. According to Obama, “The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States – using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,”
“We are honored that President Obama has become a strategic partner in NBA Africa,” said NBA commissioner in response to Obama’s partnership. The league further announced that the president will use his stake ownership to fund the Obama Foundation and leadership program across Africa.
Obama, who is a liberal politician, started an initiative during his presidency to nurture future African leaders through a program called Young Africans Leadership Initiative(YALI).
However, he has been widely criticized over the years by many concerned young Africans especially those whose political and social views are inspired by Afrocentrism. The president has been accused of imposing on African leaders to embrace liberal social values that contradict norms and values of African societies.
During his presidency, Obama prioritized LGBTQ+ agenda during his official visits to the continent, albeit the opposition from majority of Africans. To many young Africans, Obama’s social reform agenda on the continent is motivated by his western liberal views and not in the interest of Africans or the well being of the African continent.