BFA may head hunt new tech. director
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) boardroom is suffused in commotion and confusion, as the uphill battle to identify a new technical director continues.
Information reaching WeekendSport suggests that the association is seriously considering nullifying the current applications and calling for fresh ones since none of the three shortlisted candidates completely satisfied the adjudicators. According to sources, the trio was shortlisted and interviewed last week, but the dilemma is that, one of them met the requirement, but failed the interview while the other two passed the interview and did not meet the requirement.
The advert of the technical director among others, needed that the applicant possess at least a minimum of A license coaching certificate. It was floated in some of the local newspapers at the close of last year. The technical director is expected to work hand in hand with football coaches appointed by the association. But as things stand, the association is finding itself struggling to fill the post while another issue of Zebras head coach is looming.
Two other men who have nailed the interview do not have the required coaching certificate, it is said. When adjudicators were asked, they mentioned that it is for the first time since the existence of the association that a technical director with highly qualified credentials is needed. As things stand, the association is contemplating to nullify the applications and either re- advertise or engage on a head hunting exercise.
The position of technical director is held by Benny Kgomela whose contract expires at the end of February 2017. The flames surrounding the technical wing of the association come far. The new regime is however expected to dowse and normalize the situation. It is widely reported that when Kgomela was employed back in 2014, he was not among the short listed individuals. The then Vice President of the association, Ernest Nthobelang in the technical arm, expressed discontent and shock when Kgomela was employed. He was to be expelled as Sebego regime was divided by internal fighting.
The rout continued between the fallen BFA technical education officer, Philemon Makhwengwe and the same Kgomela. It was reported that Makhwengwe complained bitterly that Kgomela cannot be his boss because he was not qualified for the job. Following the animosity, both employees were suspended.
When reached for clarity, BFA mouth piece, Tumo Mpatane, said the association has completed the recruitment drive, but will not publicly mention names of the interviewees. ‘The association is done with interviewing suitable candidate, we will not divulge the names of individuals to the media.’’ When further pressed about the looming confusion, the communication’s officer said, ‘‘it is not in the interest of the association to share internal procedures to the outside world.’’
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
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.”
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
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.”