At U.S. Business forum, Olopade seeks solutions to Africa’s sports problems

A business forum involving top executive officers of sports management firms globally has ended in the United States, with the Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management, Bukola Olopade, emphasising the need to address critical infrastructure gaps such as stadium facilities, transportation networks and hospitality services for Africa to unlock new avenues for economic growth and job creation.

The event, tagged OLIN Africa Business Forum 2024, ended on March 29 at Washington University, St Louis, Missouri.

Olopade said that the success of sports events hinges upon robust infrastructure and logistical capabilities.

In his keynote address titled: ‘Beyond Boundaries, Exploiting the Evolution and Opportunities of Sports Business in Africa,’ Olopade stated that while challenges persist, particularly in the realm of infrastructure development, they also present opportunities for investment and innovation.

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

“My journey in sports cuts across both public and private sectors. I began as a Special Adviser to the then Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. It was during this tenure that I became intimately involved in the intricate world of sports administration.”

“My subsequent appointment as Commissioner for Youth and Sports marked a pivotal moment in my career, as it allowed me to spearhead initiatives such as hosting the Gateway Games 2006, which is Nigeria’s biennial Sports festival. This edition, which was the first since its inception in 1973 to declare a profit, served as a profound realisation of the untapped potential within the realm of sports for socio economic impact.”

Olopade continued: “The success of the Gateway Games raised fundamental questions about the role of sports in fostering rapid and substantial socio-economic growth within our communities. It was this introspection that ultimately propelled 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 recognised the imperative to optimise our limited resources and carve out a meaningful niche in the global arena.”

He said the establishment of Nilayo Sports Management Limited emerged as a proof to the vision rooted in the bereft at sports conserve as a powerful instrument for driving positive change and economic prosperity.

“It is through this lens that I approach our collective endeavour to unravel the potential of Africa’s emerging sports market as a catalyst for global economic growth. Africa’s emerging sports market stands as a threshold of opportunity, offering a fertile ground for innovation, collaboration, and sustainable growth. Our endeavours in sports marketing exemplify the untapped potential that lies within Africa’s sporting 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 factor in accelerating
economic and social development,” Olopade stated.

Back to top button