Kigali, Rwanda (May 29, 2023) – Giants of Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of African youth through sports, and its co-founder, Masai Ujiri, Vice-Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors, hosted a one-day Career Fair for local youth at the Kigali Marriott Hotel. The event brought together aspiring young talent and influential industry professionals, marking another milestone in the organization’s ongoing efforts to empower and inspire the next generation of African leaders.
The Career Fair was hosted in support of the Youth Internship Program that will take place at the Giants of Africa Festival, a week-long youth celebration of basketball, education, culture and entertainment happening August 13th – 19th 2023 in Kigali. Giants of Africa partnered with the Rwanda Development Board’s Skills Office by utilizing their Kora JobPortal to facilitate youth applications for the Program of which 1,900 local youth between the ages of 20 to 30 applied. Today, over 125 candidates were interviewed to determine the 50 youth that will be selected to participate in the 10-Day Program. The initiative aims to provide the talented individuals with hands-on experience and education in the profession of their choice.
The day kicked off with opening remarks by Masai Ujiri, who emphasized the importance of education, resilience, and self-belief in overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams. Mr. Ujiri’s speech set the tone for the rest of the event, saying, “The Youth Internship Program and Career Fair continues our mission to empower African youth beyond the basketball court. By exposing them to a wide range of career options and giving them opportunities for a hands-on professional experience, we want to equip them with the knowledge and experience necessary for their future success.”
Throughout the day, participants had the opportunity to engage in interactive seminars, discussions and workshops. The seminars covered a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship, sports management, media and communications, technology, and social impact. Esteemed professionals from these fields shared their expertise and provided valuable career advice to the eager participants.
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth, Dr. Utumatwishima Jean Nepo Abdallah expressed his satisfaction with the Career Fair and noted that, “Rwanda as a nation, recognizes that our greatest resource lies within our youth. We firmly believe that investing in their talents, skills, and ambitions is vital for the sustainable development of our country. Giants of Africa shares this vision, and together, we are shaping a brighter future for our youth.”
Amadou Gallo Fall shared his insights and firsthand experiences, delving into the remarkable evolution of the Basketball Africa League. As a former professional basketball player, coach, and figure in sports management, he spoke about his personal journey, emphasizing the significance of discipline, dedication, and active community involvement in the pursuit of career accomplishments.
Skills Rwanda, Kora Job Portal and Rwanda Development Board has partnered with Giants of Africa on the Career Fair initiative. Basketball Africa League, Power Learn Project, Jibu, Hollanda Fairfoods, East Africa Tourism Platform, Right Seat Ltd. and Four Points by Sheraton also supported the event.
For more information on the Giants of Africa Festival Internship Program, visit www.GOAFestival.org/intern.
About Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri
Vice-Chairman and President – Toronto Raptors; Co-Founder – Giants of Africa Masai Ujiri is the first and only African-born President of a professional sports franchise in North America – the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors. In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA Championship and the first NBA Championship won by a team outside the United States in NBA history. Born and raised in Nigeria, with a deep passion for basketball, Masai began to pursue a career as an executive when his professional basketball career came to an early end. In 2003, Masai co-founded the Giants of Africa Foundation, based on the idea of using basketball as a means of educating and enriching the lives of African youth—both boys and girls. Giants of Africa has used sport to help empower youth to dream big, hosting basketball camps and clinics for boys and girls in 17 countries across the continent. In 2021, Giants of Africa launched the ‘Built Within’ 100-court initiative and have unveiled 26 basketball facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Somalia to date. To celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the inaugural Giants of Africa Festival will bring together over 250 youth from 16 countries across Africa to Kigali, Rwanda for a week-long celebration of basketball, education, culture, and entertainment from August 13 – 19 2023.