Sahara Group, Grandmaster Amin boost youth empowerment in Africa through Chess

Leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group and Chess Grandmaster, Dr. Bassem Amin are set to unlock the “pursue your passion” gambit in young people in Africa through a Chess Masterclass session via Zoom to mark the International Chess Day that is celebrated every July 20.

Scheduled to hold on July 24, 2020 by 5PM (WAT), the session will provide a platform for Dr. Amin to share insights on recent global trends in chess moves and how his passion for chess drove his desire to keep his dreams alive in the face of challenges and disruptions that life throws at people.  An Egyptian chess player and medical doctor, Amin was awarded the title Grandmaster by the International Chess Federation (FIDE in 2006). Amin is the highest-rated player of Egypt and Africa.

“It is an established fact that pursuit is usually the proof of desire. Taking that step of pursuit is often where most young people run into hitches. Hopefully, the session with Dr. Amin and his chess story will rekindle the waning flame of pursuit and inspire African youths to take their interest in chess to greater heights,” said Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications at Sahara Group.

Expressing delight at the partnership with GM Amin, Obioma said Sahara Group remained committed to connecting people with opportunities through the extrapreneurhip platform driven by Sahara Foundation. “What we have here is a collaboration between a foremost energy conglomerate in Africa and the continent’s most decorated chess player to give African youths another reason to believe, innovate and deliver a resounding checkmate on all odds against their passion.”

GM Amin said: “Chess is life, I do believe this. You must have goals and dreams and work hard to achieve them. Playing chess has helped me to realize this and enabled me to achieve my goals both over the board and in my life. I look forward to inspiring young people with my story through this collaboration with Sahara Group.”

As part of the celebration, Sahara Group also plans to launch a #checkmatecovid19challenge to raise more awareness about the pandemic. The challenge will involve chess players sending in pictures of interesting checkmate positions via Instagram with the caption: “#checkmatecovid19 with clean hands, facemasks and social distancing”. Details of the competition will be on Sahara Group’s Instagram handles, @iamsaharagroup and @saharapcsr

In February, Sahara Group organized a #CleanLoveFeb Chess Competition as part of the energy conglomerate’s campaign against substance abuse, especially among young people. The competition was designed to serve as a platform to inspire young people to look to sports, books, and educative web portals for recreation and academic excellence.

The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924. On December 12, 2019, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the day, paving the way for more global impact for one of the world’s most ancient, intellectual, and cultural games.

Chess also offers important opportunities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. ‘Chess for Recovering Better’ is the theme for the 2020 celebration and over 605 million people who play the game regularly across the globe will be rooting for the values of fairness, inclusion, and mutual respect, which chess promotes.

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