Finalists from Benin, South Africa and Ethiopia arrived in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo for the forthcoming African School Champions Cup on Thursday.
The tournament is being played from February 19-20 with schools' teams from six countries and is one of many initiatives designed to help increase global competitiveness, one of the eleven pillars of FIFA President Gianni Infantino's Vision 2020-23.
A lack of organised football for children is one of many issues facing African football, stalling progress and preventing it from reaching its full potential according to football experts.
Herve Renard, who coached Zambia to AFCON glory in 2012, and Cote d'Ivoire three year later, said, "We know very well that, in Africa, children play in the streets, on the sand, in the dirt and on the tarmac, sometimes barefoot too."
"This school football should really be developed as some infrastructures are certainly going to be better. And that's what Africa needs: better infrastructures", added the 53-year-old.