FIFA funding contributing to generational African success, in collaboration with CAF

FIFA logo at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, on December 3, 2022. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Women’s football in Africa has been actualising its long-untapped potential in recent times, as FIFA directs more funding into the continent in collaboration with the Confederation of African Football. FIFA has now hosted a workshop in order to tailor the support it offers the CAF.

The women’s seminar, hosted in Egypt, was geared towards bolstering the operational performance of its member nations. The focus is to listen to the specific areas these nations see needing development and then offer that exact support in means of funding or guidance.

Topics that were delved into over the four-day seminar included strategic planning, leadership, communication, marketing, safeguarding and club licensing.

FIFA Women’s Football Development Manager Marina Radulovic summarised her thoughts on the seminar. She discussed the striking progress African women’s football has made in recent times.

“We were able to present the tailored support FIFA can provide through our women’s development programmes as well as the knowledge sharing and guidance available within these FIFA programmes. We are here to work together with CAF. To support the member associations as they each continue their respective journeys.”

Success stories are already happening

A success story of the focus FIFA has placed in Africa is the Malawi national team who claimed an historic first COSAFA Championship victory in 2023, hosted in South Africa.

“The sessions were great and I learnt a lot. Talking to the other participants, I could see that we have similar challenges. I also learned how each of them is trying to solve them in a unique perspective that relates to their environment,” Malawi manager Blandina Mdebwe told FIFA.com.

Another recent success for Africa is the transfer of the 23-year-old Zambia international Barbra Banda to Orlando Pride for an astronomical fee. The most expensive transfer of all-time is Banda’s international teammate Racheal Kundananji, who has also joined the NWSL for a huge fee of $788,000 (£618k).

Banda was signed for $740,000 (£581k) and will stay in Orlando for four years after moving from Shanghai Shengli.

This marks the first time that the two most expensive women’s players in the world have both hailed from Africa.

Read more: Ghana FA funds coaching courses with aim to close gender gap

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 31: Barbra Banda of Zambia celebrates after scoring her team’s second goal. FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 at Waikato Stadium (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Rwanda is another of the Africa nations keen to seize the opportunities handed out by FIFA. The association is focussing their efforts on a strategic plan for women’s football in the country, in collaboration with FIFA.

Anne Mbonimba, Rwanda’s Women’s Football Development Officer, emphasised the impact it’s making not just on the football in Africa but the people off the pitch too.

“I met colleagues from different countries, we exchanged ideas about women’s football and our daily work. I learnt how to deal with problems as a leader and [also] how to draw up an action plan for my work. The trainers have empowered us about how to perfect our daily duties in women football.”

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