In a historic move for esports enthusiasts across Africa, the Confederation of Electronic Sports Africa (CESA) was officially founded on September 26, 2023. The birth of this continental organisation comes as a result of a unanimous vote by 45 delegates from African countries.
The Constitutive General Assembly, a two-day event held on September 25 and 26, 2023, in Dakar, Senegal, saw representatives from various African nations converge to create a platform dedicated to the promotion, training, and development of electronic games and immersive sports, as well as their related activities.
At the helm of this groundbreaking initiative stands Mr. Samba Bathily, the CEO of the Africa Development Solutions (ADS) Group, who was unanimously appointed as the President of CESA. In his closing speech, Mr. Bathily pledged to ignite the growth of gaming and esports activities across the continent, marking a significant milestone in the journey of esports in Africa.
One of the notable commitments made by Mr. Bathily is the financing of “HP Gaming Garage” training centres. He announced that 50% of the initial setup cost for these centres would be covered in one country within each of CESA’s six zones:
- North Zone
- West Zone A
- West Zone B
- Central Zone
- Central East Zone
- South Zone
The enthusiasm for CESA’s mission was obvious, as only nine countries were appointed out of the 13 members of the Executive Committee:
- Ivory Coast
- Cabo Verde
The event was graced by the presence of numerous dignitaries, including Mr. Souleymane Astou Diagne, Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Communication, Telecommunications, and the Digital Economy, and Mr. Ousseynou Dieng, Director of Communication at the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications, and the Digital Economy, who delivered the closing remarks.
The support for CESA extended beyond the borders of Senegal, with major players like the Orange Middle East Africa Group, represented by Mr. Issa Sene, the Sponsorship Director for the zone, actively participating throughout the proceedings. Additionally, Mathieu Faye, Vice President of FIBA Africa and President of the West Africa Zone, along with Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at HP, added their voices of encouragement.
The Constitutive General Assembly received considerable backing from institutions such as UNESCO, HP Education Middle East and Africa, VISA, FIBA Africa, the Sport Council of the African Union, the Senegalese Basketball Federation, the Senegalese Olympic Committee, and global esports entities.
Under the auspices of His Excellency, Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and with the support of various African governmental bodies, the Confederation of Electronic Sports Africa (CESA) has embarked on a journey to usher in a new era of esports in Africa. The stage is set for CESA to shape the future of electronic sports on the continent and provide opportunities for aspiring gamers and professionals to shine on the global stage.