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BFA, Orange FA cup deal stalled

It will be an uphill battle before Botswana Football Association (BFA) realizes its dreams of resuscitating a working partnership with Orange Botswana.  Plans to bring back Orange Botswana as one of their potential sponsors next season are reportedly being stalled by undecided high ranking individuals, WeekendSport has learnt.

Information reaching this publication has indicated that BFA has now pinned all its hopes on the hands of time as they believe that current Orange CEO Patrick Benon has deferred the deal for too long a time now. Benon’s contract with Orange is anticipated to end in the first quarter of next year.

Orange Botswana is the previous sponsor of the Senior National Team, The Zebras. At the close of last year, reports emerged that the two were on the verge of agreeing a possible three year contract for the FA cup. Orange was to sponsor the cup at a tune of P30 million-of which P10 million would be used for each season.

The deal further said the ultimate winner would pocket 1 million pula and get a chance to participate at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) games. This effectively meant the Mascom Top 8 winner, as has been the case would not proceed to play at the continental showpiece. In essence, the winner was likely to pocket only P 750 000, while the remaining P250 000 was to be used for the CAF competition. According to sources, Orange Botswana stalled the negotiations on purpose because BFA’s proposal paper did not impress the CEO.

Meanwhile, there is growing fear that the touted tournament will not be staged next season owing to the delay by the network giant in finalizing the deal. This notwithstanding, the CEO is allegedly “not interested at all” in entertaining the contents of the contract. Both organizations have however not come forward to address the allegations.

However, according to BFA Communications and Marketing Manager Tumo Mpatane, “The association has done everything that needs to be done and are eagerly waiting for the organizational heads to meet to conclude the talks.”  Telecommunications giant Orange is known to support football activities especially in West Africa. In 2016 the company concluded a new long-term partnership deal as official sponsors for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) flagship competitions.

The new eight-year deal saw the France-based company confirmed as an official sponsor of five major CAF competitions from 2017 to 2024, beginning with the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon this January. Orange extended its sponsorship with the African soccer governing body to include the 2019 tournament in Cameroon, the 2021 competition in Cote D’Ivoire and the 2023 edition of the Nations Cup in Guinea.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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