In a significant development for African football, the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) announced the establishment of the new African Club Association (ACA) this week, with Kenya chosen as the host nation.
The ACA aims to represent and safeguard the interests of African football clubs, working collaboratively with its members to enhance the financial and commercial viability of clubs across the continent. The association is governed by a 15-member board, with representation from each region, and is chaired by Hersi A. Said of Young Africans Sports Club, Tanzania's most decorated football club.
The decision to host the ACA in Kenya aligns with broader efforts to promote equitable distribution of football activities in Africa. Kenya has actively pursued leveraging sports, including football, to boost tourism—a sector that plays a crucial role in the country's GDP. With a pre-pandemic contribution of 8% to the GDP, tourism is a significant source of foreign exchange revenue for Kenya.
The country has demonstrated its commitment to sports events, securing hosting rights for the 2027 nations and winning the bid for the 2024 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Despite some unsuccessful bids, such as losing the bid for the 2025 World Athletics to Japan, Kenya is addressing infrastructure concerns by entrusting the Kenyan Defence Forces with construction and renovation projects for four stadia set to be unveiled in 2025.
The establishment of the ACA and Kenya's role as the host reflects a strategic move by CAF to strengthen football structures in Africa and promote inclusivity across the continent, contributing to both sporting and economic development.