CAF’s Jacqueline Shipanga Commends Progress in Women’s Football Development

In a recent development, Jacqueline Shipanga, a prominent technical expert associated with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), expressed her admiration for the strides made in the development of women’s football on the continent. Shipanga, who played a pivotal role in conducting the Elite Women Instructors course, shared her thoughts on the ongoing journey towards empowering women in football.

The CAF New Women Instructors course was initiated with the goal of identifying potential Women Instructors within Member Associations (MAs) who could further evolve into local, zonal, and CAF Instructors.

Speaking in reference to the CAF Convention, Shipanga highlighted the extensive opportunities now available for women coaches in Africa. These opportunities include courses and educational programs offered within MAs. She urged Zonal Technical Representatives to take a leaf out of the CAF Refereeing Division’s book, which collaborates with different zones to enhance the skills of young referees. The recent VAR training for female referees from Eastern and Southern Africa during the COSAFA tournament was cited as an exemplary model to follow, emphasizing the need for similar refresher courses for Women Instructors at the Zonal level.

Shipanga’s enthusiasm for CAF’s efforts was evident. She spoke of the need for mentorship programs to support both new and elite instructors, recognizing that growth and guidance opportunities are sometimes limited. The program not only allows instructors to upskill themselves but also establishes a network of high-level coach educators, expanding the database of capable professionals.

According to Shipanga, the education of instructors is a foundational aspect of developing the next generation of football stars. Quality instructors breed quality coaches, who, in turn, produce quality players, ultimately leading to better results. She drew attention to the exemplary performances of African teams in the recent Women’s World Cup and how their passion, determination, and quality of play are a testament to the effectiveness of coach education programs. Shipanga credited CAF’s leadership for making the development of women’s football a top priority in line with the Women’s Football Strategy.

While acknowledging the commendable work done by the CAF Technical Division, Shipanga stressed the need to accelerate coach education programs to meet the modern demands of the game. She highlighted the importance of empowering Member Associations with modern technology, including video and data analysis and sports science expertise. These areas, she believes, are where other Confederations hold an edge over Africa.

Jacqueline Shipanga was assisted in her efforts by highly regarded coach and instructor Clementine Toure from Ivory Coast and CAF Elite expert Abraham Mebratu from Ethiopia.

Finally, Shipanga praised CAF Technical Director Raul Chipenda and Head of Women’s Football Development Division Meskerem Goshime for their unwavering support toward the development of the girl-child in Africa. The resounding message is clear: “It’s Time, It’s Now.”

The recent course covered topics such as the CAF Convention, the profile and roles of an instructor, match analysis, nutrition and recovery, physical fitness training, adult teaching methodology, and involved practical sessions. The participants engaged in group work on the analysis of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, reflecting the continuous commitment to women’s football development in Africa.

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