Fatma Samoura, the Secretary General of FIFA and the most powerful woman in the sports industry according to Forbes, is the headline name in the first speaker lineup announcement for the inaugural World Football Summit Africa, which will be held in Durban (South Africa) on March 17th and 18th 2020.
Samoura joined FIFA in 2016 after a long career at the United Nations, where she earned the acclaim of those involved in worldwide diplomacy thanks to her work leading development projects around the world. She is the first woman to hold FIFA’s Secretary General role and the most influential African figure (male or female) in worldwide football.
In the summer of 2019, Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, named her General Delegate for Africa. Since then, she has been working alongside the African Football Confederation (CAF) directors to improve efficiency and to raise the governance standards of African football’s ruling body.
Samoura is the headline name of the first speaker lineup announcement, which includes global industry leaders such as LaLiga President, Javier Tebas, and World Leagues Forum Secretary General, Jerome Perlemuter, as well as regional figures such as South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Danny Jordaan. Sihle Zikalala, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, the province where host city Durban is located, is also among the lineup to which many more names will be added in the upcoming weeks.
As is the norm at WFS, representatives from clubs, leagues and federations will take the stage, as well as the leading brands and companies that are linked to the industry. That includes Sky Sports, represented in this initial lineup by our host David Garrido, or sporting news site Goal.com, represented by Managing Editor for Africa Steve Blues.
The inaugural edition of WFS Africa will bring together 1,200 attendees and 80+ speakers in Durban and the summit will tackle the leading issues in the industry, such as digital transformation, the explosion of OTT in the audiovisual market and the growth of women’s football. There will also be focus on matters that are specific to the region, such as the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will have taken place 10 years previously, or the challenge of strengthening local leagues in order to compete with the top European competitions.
Football as a tool for social development, a theme that has always been relevant at WFS, will carry even more weight in this edition. Amongst the confirmed speakers is Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, the founder of Malaika, a non-profit aimed to empower Congolese girls, partner of organizations including Street Football World and Coaches Across Continents. Malaika, that opened the Kalebuka Football for Hope Center with FIFA in 2013, uses football programs to keep their community engaged and conversations around pertinent social issues active.
As WFS director Jan Alessie explains: “Africa is a continent where there is a passion for football like few others and we believe that behind this passion and truly genuine way of experiencing sport, there are great business opportunities that can benefit both the companies involved in this sector and the general population. With the launch of WFS Africa, we hope to contribute to the strengthening of an industry that benefits all of society.” According to data from Nielsen, Africa is the continent where football is followed with the greatest interest; Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa are the three countries in the world where the beautiful game is played the most.
This first edition of WFS Africa is the second step in the internationalisation of World Football Summit, which launched WFS Asia in April 2019 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). WFS Africa will be the first of the four WFS events announced for 2020. It’ll be followed by the Football Innovation Forum, which will be held on May 29th in Istanbul (Turkey), by WFS Asia, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in July, and by WFS20, the flagship event, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary on September 23rd and 24th in Madrid.
FIRST CONFIRMED SPEAKERS FOR WFS AFRICA:
- Fatma Samoura, Secretary General – FIFA
- Danny Jordaan, President – SAFA
- Sihle Zikalala, Premier – KwaZulu Natal
- Javier Tebas, President – LaLiga
- Laurent Colette, Managing Director – Olympique Marseille
- Jerome Perlemuter, Secretary General – World Leagues Forum
- Steve Blues, Managing Editor Africa – Goal.com
- Cynthia Mumbo, CEO – Sports Connect Africa
- Lebogang Chaka, CEO – Afro Visionary Legacy
- Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, Founder – Malaika
- David Garrido, Presenter – Sky Sports