‘If we don’t invest now, somebody from Europe, America or China will come to own what is ours’


MARRAKESH, Morocco | THE INDEPENDENT | -Herbert Mensah, the newly elected President Rugby Africa, has said the continent’s nations can continously be world beaters in the game, if the right investement is made.

The President of the continental governing body made the remarks in an interview with African news channel Africa24 English during the Africa Investment Forum. This soon after South Africa won the Rugby World Cup.

“The best athletes in the world are from Africa, whether they are playing for France or for England or for whoever, you find so many Africans, and I think it sends the message that we are the best. If we get the right investment, we can show consistently that we are world-beaters,” he said.

Talking about investment, he said World Rugby pays up to $5 billion to each European rugby nation to promote the sport, while the entire African continent received just $2.5 million (for 39 countries), which limits the promotion of the sport on the continent.

“Africa has already shown they have the greatest sportsman go to the NBA people of African extract UFC is it in Ngannou is it Usman it goes on and on if it is from the UFC, is it boxing, I don’t have to speak, is it a long distance runners, go to East Africa, it will be a Kenyan, a Somalian, an Ethiopian, a Ugandan, who will win at the Olympics this year, if it is football, I’ve already explained, so Africa has what the rest of the world does not have.”

He said if African don’t invest now, they will find somebody from Europe from America from China coming to own what is theirs. “It will be like God gave you the gold but you don’t have the gold Refinery, you have the Coco but you have no Chocolate Factory, you have the oil but not the best oil refineries.”

He explained the many barriers that hinder develpment of the sport, not least transport costs. “The price of an air ticket from Dakar to Madagascar is maybe 1,500 dollar, in Europe from Rome to London, Paris to London, maybe 60 dollar…” he remarked.


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