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UEFA Assist's GS Academy kicks off in Africa

UEFA's Assist programme has partnered with the Confederation of African Football to stage the first two sessions of its new GS Academy for national association general secretaries.

General secretaries of CAF member associations gathered for a workshop organised under the UEFA Assist programme in Namibia
General secretaries of CAF member associations gathered for a workshop organised under the UEFA Assist programme in Namibia ©CAF

The GS (general secretaries) Academy, set up by UEFA Assist, aims to support the general secretaries of football associations around the world by providing practical assistance to help develop and strengthen the sport.

UEFA Assist was launched in 2017 with the aim of sharing knowledge and best practices in order to help UEFA’s fellow football confederations develop and strengthen football within their respective territories. The programme is designed to provide practical rather than financial assistance and to offer support through development activities.

In partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), UEFA Assist ran the first two editions of its GS Academy in Windhoek, Namibia, and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in November. The general secretaries of national football associations are invited to attend regional workshops to help them enhance their ability to succeed in their role. “It was important for us to come and get the best guidance and knowledge from UEFA,” said the general secretary of the Kenya Football Federation, Robert Muthomi, who took part in the GS Academy in Ethiopia.

Boosting knowledge
“I will go back to my federation and teach my staff what we have learned. We will adapt the toolkit received here and share this knowledge so that everybody understands the level we’re trying to reach,” Muthomi added.

In setting up UEFA Assist, research was conducted to discover which educational programmes were needed to support the development of UEFA’s fellow confederations. One of the prime requests was to boost the knowledge of the national associations’ general secretaries.

Participants in the GS Academy are led through a programme highlighting the key aspects of their role as general secretaries, including governance, strategic planning, finance, people management, marketing and communications, player development and administration, and match administration.

All 56 CAF member associations will take part in the programme over the next six months. The GS Academy will also be introduced in other confederations.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 182