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Sport and SDGs case study: East Africa Cup

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Sport and SDGs case study: East Africa Cup

Much more than a week of sports - “a week in Moshi, but a whole year in the community”.

How does your organisation work toward achieving the SDGs?

East Africa Cup has realised that we need to make sure we are relevant to the informal sector and we need to meet youth where they actually live their daily lives. Culture and sports are a potent platform to meet youth. However, one needs to infuse that platform with the relevant issues needed to empower youth to meaningfully participate in their own communities. This is in essence what the East Africa Cup is all about.

The thematic sectors present at the EAC are chosen for their relevance to the lives of young people. The EAC provides a venue for showcasing the various approaches to using sports as a mobilisation and development tool. The EAC will continue to be both an inspiration and a catalyst for the role of youth as real change makers and “heroes of both today and tomorrow” in their respective communities.

The SDGs reflect the global consensus on the important issues and challenges of the future and at the EAC we are seeing that the SDGs are extremely relevant to the daily challenges of the youth. As a consequence the thematic sectors at the EAC also reflect a wide approach to the SDGs!

Which specific goals do you target?
  • 1 No poverty: Through the thematic focus on issues of poverty, the YMCA/YWCA have had a focus on this for several years at the EAC
  • 3 Good health and wellbeing: Sport and physical activity are fundamental to good health and wellbeing. In addition, EAC focuses on developing first aid competence (both preventive and curative) in a specific thematic sector now facilitated by CHRISC and MYSA
  • 4 Quality education: The thematic sectors at the EAC are based on competence and education, marked by quality and relevance. EAC is currently exploring introducing elements of e-learning to further enhance the quality of the delivered competence and education
  • 5 Gender equality: This has been core since the inception of the EAC. We average a gender ratio of roughly 50:50 every year, and we actively push for the participation of girls in the technical thematic sectors (e.g. referee training, media training, first aid and leadership) 
  • 6 Clean water and sanitation: The EAC has had WASH as a core theme for some of the annual events. In addition, there is a thematic focus on WASH (historically run by WASH United from Kenya, now the focus is run by CHRISC)
  • 8 Decent work and economic growth: The EAC is now introducing a thematic focus on entrepreneurship – with a pilot this year run by Global Shapers from Arusha (Tanzania) with the assistance of an independent Norwegian facilitator
  • 10 Reduced inequalities: A main objective of the EAC is to inspire youth to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in their own communities. This will hopefully also address the fundamental inequalities which impact youth in the access to resources, employment and influence on community development. All the thematic sectors are based on this objective within the EAC. In addition, EAC contains a specific focus on inclusion of youth with disabilities (with sitting volleyball as a sport activity in this regard, and a special crosscutting focus on this through all the thematic sectors). Right to Play have facilitated a specific focus termed “abilities first” which fundamentally promotes inclusion
  • 11 Sustainable cities and communities: The issue of sustainable communities is present at the EAC through a focus on urban challenges for youth (historically facilitated by UN Habitat) and rural challenges for youth (historically focused by Shujazz from Kenya with support from YARA)
  • 13 Climate action: Environmental issues have also been a focus since the inception of the EAC, but with a focus on the local environmental issues as a basis for a global environmental focus
  • 16 Peace: Peace and reconciliation are core topics at the EAC since many of the participating youth come from conflict areas (northern Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, western Tanzania, northern Kenya, the coast areas including the islands of Unguja and Pemba). NCA has been involved in this through their interfaith dialogue focus, and Right to Play have had a focus on this through their approach on peace and reconciliation with games and play as central tools
  • 17 Partnerships for the goals: EAC has played and will continue to play a unique role as a platform for networking. At the EAC, organisations come together to share their experiences and learn from each other – and simply become inspired!
What changes have you made to your work since the SDGs were introduced in January 2016?

Since the SDGs were introduced, we have become more conscious of what we are actually doing – relating what we are doing to the macro objectives contained within the SDG terminology. As one can see from the list above, the activities linked to the various SDGs have been in place at the EAC for a long time, some even since its inception. With the introduction of the SDGs, we have become more focused on the fact that what we are doing actually is in line with the SDGs – and that through our modest efforts, we are assisting in working to achieve the global objectives of the SDGs.

How is your organisation measuring progress?

This is a challenge for the EAC. We can easily monitor and evaluate what happens at the event itself. We have the numbers of participants and a good overview of what they have attended regarding the thematic sectors. However, we are very much in the dark with regards to what degree the various organisations participating at the EAC use the competences acquired at the EAC.

We have the slogan “one week in Moshi, the whole year in the community”, and it’s the “year in the community” that really counts. We therefore are now in the process of trying to design a strategic plan based on feedback from all the participating organisations. We hope this plan can assist with monitoring to some degree what is actually happening in the home communities regarding the thematic input and inspiration from the EAC.


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East Africa Cup


Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 13:34

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