The Sahara Conference of the third edition of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) officially opened Saturday, March 11, at the Dakar Arena in Senegal with Visit Rwanda promoting Rwanda as founding and host partner for the third straight season. Rwandan champions REG Energy Group started off their campaign with a 64-48 win over Nigeria’s Kwara Falcons on Sunday. Prior to the match, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chief Tourism Officer, Michaella Rugwizangoga, alongside BAL President, Amadou Gallo Fall briefed the media on the Season Three finals that will take place in Kigali from May 21-27. Rugwizangoga highlighted factors such as Rwanda’s world-class facilities, safety, connectivity and diverse tourist attractions as key to hosting continental sports tournaments such as the BAL in the country seamlessly before encouraging people to show massive turn up during the finals in Kigali. She said, “RDB and BAL have really been enjoying good three years of partnership. We hope to see you in May.” On his part, BAL president Fall commended Rwanda for being supportive throughout the partnership. “I cannot thank you [RDB/Visit Rwanda] enough. Your support has been consistent. Rwanda believes and wants to grow with us as we build an entire ecosystem around basketball. I look forward to going to Kigali in May as we crown the third champion,” he said. In attendance was also Rwandan envoy to Senegal, Jean-Pierre Karabaranga, who gave a vote of thanks to the organisers and participants of the BAL season 3 and invited all to visit Rwanda not only to compete but also for unique experiences.