Africa Investment Forum: Rugby Africa President Calls for Investment in the Excellence of Africa

Herbert Mensah, the newly elected President of Rugby Africa (, the continental governing body for rugby in Africa, participated in a one-to-one fireside chat at the 2023 Africa Investment Forum (AIF) on November 10 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Africa Investment Forum, hosted by the African Development Bank and partners Africa50, Africa Finance Corporation, Afreximbank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Trade and Development Bank, the Africa Investment Forum is the continent's investment marketplace to accelerate transactions to close Africa's investment gaps.

Since its inception in 2018, the Africa Investment Forum has mobilised nearly $143 billion in investment interest. During the discussion, the President of Rugby Africa encouraged the investment in sport across Africa and highlighted the importance of investment opportunities coming from the continent itself.

"Africa is at the forefront of the global marketplace because of its wealth of talent and the world's attention. It's time to turn this potential into power by investing in ourselves, creating structures that allow our resources to fuel our own growth, and breaking the free export-import cycle and import that prevents us from realising our true economic potential," he said.

"With South Africa emerging triumphant as the world champions at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the world has once again seen the vast potential of Africa. Investing in rugby across Africa is investing in a continent of 1.3 billion people, using the sport as a catalyst for both economic development and youth empowerment," he added.

The sports industry is growing rapidly in Africa, with the potential to create jobs, improve public health, promote social inclusion and drive economic growth. It was valued at $7 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2027, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), but investment across Africa remains limited, with just 1% of startup funding going to the sports sector.

The 2023 Africa Investment Forum brings together heads of state, business leaders, decision-makers and investors to drive key investment deals to completion. Past participants include Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.

Rugby Africa ( is the governing body of rugby in Africa and one of the World Rugby's regional unions. With 29 member unions, it brings together all African countries that play rugby union, rugby sevens, and women's rugby. 

Rugby Africa organises various competitions, including including the Rugby World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Sevens, an Olympic qualifier.