The Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently held a historic meeting via video-conference with a selected group of players and coaches to present the Women’s Football Strategy and the organizational aspects of the Women’s Champions League.
The meeting chaired by the Deputy Secretary General, Anthony Baffoe, was to share the strategic plan for the development of women’s football with some of the key actors of the game, and exchange ideas towards growing the women’s game across the continent.
Among the highlights of the interactive session were presentations by Director of Competitions, Samson Adamu and Head of Women’s Football Development, Safia Abdel Dayem on road map for the inaugural Women’s Champions League and Women’s Football Strategy.
The meeting brought together some of the biggest names in African women’s football including coaches Clementine Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Desiree Ellis (South Africa) and Lamia Boumehdi (Morocco U-17).
Among the notable players who were in attendance was four-time and reigning CAF Women’s Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria, CAF Women’s Player of the Year in 2018 Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Cameron’s Gaelle Enganamouit who was crowned CAF Women’s Player of the Year in 2015.
The rest are Onome Ebi (Nigeria), Ajara Njoya (Cameroon), Janine Van Wyk (South Africa), Sarah Essam (Egypt), Elizabeth Addo (Ghana) and Jean Sseninde (Uganda).
Baffoe reassured the participants of CAF’s commitment towards the women’s game and the importance of synergistic work to develop it.
“We organized this meeting to listen to the players and coaches,” Baffoe said.
“Now, the recently appointed Executive Directors of each of the Zonal Unions, have been tasked with ensuring that the Women’s Football Strategy launched in July is in line with the objectives of the region, and for Member Associations to follow accordingly”.
Speaking afterwards, Oshoala expressed her delight over the conference. “I am very happy to be part of this initiative and I hope that everything will fall into place. I’m pretty sure at the end of the day we’ll all be happy. After a year, we can say that we have moved forward and in two years we can take it to a higher level.”
“I feel honoured and privileged to be part of this meeting,” said Janine Van Wyk. “Individually, it is difficult to do much, but together we can do a lot. We have so much talent in our countries and we have to expose them to the world.”
The plan, for an initial four-year period, 2020-2023, is tailor-made taking into consideration peculiarities of the continent with a commitment to develop women’s football at levels to new heights.
With the slogan #ItsTimeItsNow, the strategy represents the new identity for the women’s game and will serve as a reference for the promotion and development of the sport across the continent, and as a guide to success for Member Associations and other stakeholders.
The strategy is built on five main priorities namely Development, Competitions, Marketing & Promotion, Professionalization & Leadership and Social impact.