The Basketball Africa League (BAL) and New Fortress Energy Inc. (NFE), a global energy infrastructure company founded to help accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy have announced a multiyear partnership that makes NFE a Founding Partner and the Official Energy Partner of the BAL. The inaugural BAL season will tip off Sunday, May 16 at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, with 12 teams from across Africa competing in the new professional league. The first BAL Finals will be held Sunday, May 30.
Through the partnership, which marks NFE’s first-ever collaboration with a sports league, NFE will use the game of basketball to advocate for affordable and clean energy solutions and increase awareness of environmental initiatives across the continent. Together, NFE and the BAL will collaborate with international NGO Trees for the Future to launch “Threes for Trees,” an initiative that aims to donate more than 100,000 trees to farmers and non-profit environmental organizations in Senegal and other African countries. NFE and the BAL will contribute three trees for every three-pointer made during the BAL season and will engage fans in the initiative on social media.
Following the conclusion of the inaugural BAL season, NFE and the BAL will host an Africa Youth Summit in Dakar, Senegal, where youth leaders, energy industry representatives and other stakeholders will discuss the links between clean energy, economic growth and public health, with a focus on creating sustainable development and educational programs for African youth.
“The BAL is a terrific partner for NFE and our efforts to bring more affordable power and clean energy to support sustainable economic growth in Africa,” said New Fortress Energy Chairman and CEO Wes Edens. “We’re pleased to support the development of basketball and education programs in Africa with the BAL as we work together on initiatives that help address energy poverty and climate change.”
“We are delighted to welcome NFE as a Founding Partner of the Basketball Africa League,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “This partnership reflects our belief that the BAL is uniquely positioned to change lives beyond the basketball court. Teaming up with NFE will showcase clean, renewable and affordable energy solutions that are necessary to drive economic growth in Africa and positively impact communities across the continent.”
NFE’s logo will also be displayed on the court at the Kigali Arena and on the uniforms of the 12 BAL teams.
Champions from the national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia earned their participation in the inaugural BAL season. The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Regional Office Africa across the continent in late 2019.