The NBA and world basketball governing body FIBA have collaborated for a 12-team professional league in Africa. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the collaboration on Saturday, February 16. 

And although more details will be released in the coming months, the initial plan is for the 12-team league to begin in January 2020. 

Qualification for the league will hold later this year to determine clubs that will participate. Teams from Angola, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia are expected to take part in the qualifiers. 

No country will have more than two teams in the league. 

Former US President Barack Obama has come out to back the idea and he is expected to have direct involvement with the NBA’s plan to keep growing the game in Africa. 

I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts,” Obama wrote on Twitter

Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court.”

Basketball legend Michael Jordan has also agreed to be part of the project and was one of the NBA team owners who were present when commissioner Silver made the announcement. 

"As we've been talking about this concept over the last several months, there's been a tremendous reception from many of our NBA team owners ... and in addition, several of the partners of the NBA have expressed a strong desire to work with us in Africa," Silver said.

The league is in continuation of NBA’s plan to help grow and spread the sports across Africa. 

The NBA have an office in South Africa where they have held three games since 2015.