Women and youth basketball ball development are top on Eric Aime Niat’s agenda, in his four-year mandate as president of the FIBA zone 4 region.
President Niat made the revelation in a recent interview, days after he was voted to his new office in a tight elections contest in Maputo, Mozambique.
In the last decade, the closest a women’s team of the region have come close to winning the Afrobasket competition has been Cameroon with 2nd place finish in 2015. While DR Congo picked up the first win in the maiden edition of the Afrocan, the youth teams have been suffering enormously in continental tournaments like the U18 women’s African championship.
It is in this light that the vice-president of the cameroon basketball federation expressed desire to not only see the youth and women selection thrive, but every other aspect of basketball in the region, on the continental scene.
“We need to develop the zone, we need to upgrade every team, championship, National selection, so they can take part in international competitions. We will work on developing youth and women’s basketball, be present in all international meetings and also organize numerous exchanges in the zone,” president Niat explained.
Elected by a majority of 6 to 8 votes on June 8 in Maputo Mozambique, the 49-year-old played a huge role in Cameroon organizing the women’s Afrobasket competition back in 2015. His years of as a promoter of this discipline in the Nzuimanto Academy will be of great help as he now oversees eight countries in Africa (Cameroon, Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sao Rome and Principe).
“I am honored to be here , I am honored to have been elected as the president of zone 4. It shows the trust that other presidents of the federations have in Cameroon. I want to thank Samuel Nduku, president of the Cameroon basketball federation. This elections shows the work he has done so far, that’s why Cameroon is at the top of the region. Now we have to continue working,” he added.
His plan of action has not only been endorsed by president Nduku of the Cameroon basketball federation, but also other federation presidents in central Africa.
“It’s a difficult task, but it’s achievable , we have the support from federation presidents in other countries, we have a clear and defined plan of action, everyone will take part, it’s our responsibility,” he concluded.
In order to address this issue, many suggest more competitions should be organized in the region.
In 2020, Priscilla Mbiandja, ex Cameroon basketball player had blamed Cameroons poor showing in continental tournaments on inconsistency and the absence of competitions.
This year, president Nduku is encouraging his vice to take into account this suggestion by organising zonal tournament.
“We are happy its our brother who is at the head of zone 4. It’s not only a thing of joy, it’s also going to give us so much work in the zone. We want things to change at the level of the zones, we should have more competition, more visibility. He proposed a project which we endorsed, we are waiting to see it materialize on the field,” Nduku opined.
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