Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji was among the stellar names in attendance when FIFA signed a strategic alliance and landmark agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) to create positive change in society and communities where football will be used as a vehicle for education, development and social change.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFD chief executive officer Remy Rioux signed at a special ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron along with FIFA legends Marcel Desailly, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Bernard Lama and Candice Prévost at the Élysée Palace on 4 June.
Raji was invited by President Macron as one of the beneficiaries in furtherance of Liberian President George Weah’s official visit to Paris, France to meet President Macron in February 2018.
The agreement aims to develop collaboration between FIFA and AFD for the implementation of various social projects related to football, including the development of women’s football and Football for Schools Program.
Fifa and AFD will be partners and cooperate on joint projects in Africa with two main objectives: gender equality and women’s empowerment.
President Macron has said that equality between women and men is the great national objective of his five-year term.
The AFD has a strategic objective called a “100-percent social link”, in particular through the inclusion of women and the fight against gender inequality.
In terms of empowerment, the AFD will promote women’s participation in sport and partner with FIFA to implement FIFA’s new strategy for women’s football.
FIFA’s 2016-2026 road map, which is also known as “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, sets out several tangible and measurable goals for the development of football, among which is a commitment to significantly raise the number of women and girls playing football, up to 60 million.
As part of its new vision, FIFA adopted a strategy for women’s football in October 2018 with the aim of developing the women’s game and using football as a powerful unifying factor and tool to bring about positive societal change, fight inequality and empower girls and women around the world.
FIFA, through its Football for Schools Program, aims to reach over 700 million girls and boys around the world and invest US$120 million over the next four years with the overall objective of making football more accessible to children everywhere and contributing to their education, social development and empowerment.
FIFA and the AFD will combine resources and implement joint programs to promote football as a sport for all, socio-educational projects and equality in football, as well as invest in local infrastructure.
These initiatives will run alongside existing programs being carried out by the AFD as well as ongoing projects in member associations as part of the Fifa Forward and Football for Schools program.