Airtel Africa has today announced a multi-million Dollar agreement with Samsung to support the largest under 17 grassroots tournament on the African Continent.
This means that under the agreement, Samsung will also become the official device partner of the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) tournament.
According to a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Airtel Zambia Public Relations Officer, Lisa Mulozi, Airtel Africa Vice President for Corporate Communications, Michael Okwiri, stated that the Telecommunications Company has been working with various educational institutions in 17 English and French speaking countries.
He noted that the youth soccer initiative involves over 18, 000 teams and more than 400,000 young boys and girls across the continent.
Mr Okwiri added that the initiative, which has recorded a 65 per cent in 2012 and ready to expand, is also supported by two of the biggest soccer clubs in the world which include Arsenal FC and Manchester United.
He said the move is aimed at identifying and nurturing future talent in Africa.
Mr Okwiri added that Airtel has sponsorship agreements in place with Manchester United and Arsenal to develop emerging soccer talent in Africa and utilize their globally recognizable brand assets to enhance youth related commercial activity.
He further noted that ARS has established itself as a strong feeder program for national teams’ coaches on the continent and a good number of the ARS alumni have been absorbed into Africa Premier League Clubs as well as into their country’s national teams.
Meanwhile, Vice President for Samsung Electronics in Africa, George Ferreira, noted that African youths have the potential to be a great force for Africa’s development provided that an appropriate investment in them is made.
Mr Ferreira said Samsung is proud to be associated with such a development as investing in youths will help spotlight Africa’s potential.
He further announced that Samsung is also strategically focusing on forging a partnership with Airtel in Africa to reach out to consumers across sub Saharan Africa.
Mr Ferreira explained that the two telecommunication companies will be showcasing mobile devices centred on satisfying consumer desire to use technology as a means of self expression.
He noted that consumers expect mobile devices to fit seamlessly into their lifestyles and open the way to new experiences, adding that the two companies are focused on delivering on the promise through Smart solutions for Africa.
And Chief Marketing Officer for Airtel Africa, Andre Beyers, observed that the collaboration with Samsung will transcend the commercial arena and enable the Airtel Rising Stars tournament achieve greater scale and long term sustainability.
Mr Beyers said the next season of the tournament, which is now in the third year, will start at the end of this month.