Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

How will South Africa handle the World Cup?

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International football body FIFA expects about half a million fans to come to South Africa for the World Cup, which starts a year from now.

The country is experiencing its first recession in 17 years but it is hoped that the
infrastructure being built for the World Cup and the expected influx of tourists will give the economya boost.

Ten stadiums have been set aside for the games. Those being built will be finished by February next year. There have been plenty of challenges, and delays in construction even led to rumours that FIFA would move the tournament elsewhere.

While fans want to come to South Africa, the country’s high crime rate is worrying. About 50 people are murdered here every day, and between 2007 and 2008 there were more than 36,000 rapes. So South African police are being trained to protect people during the World Cup.

No place like home

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If there really is no place like home, then for many Africans in France the Chateau-Rouge neighbourhood of Paris is the next best thing.

At the open air market fish and vegetable vendors sell produce that reminds their African customers what they are missing.

Who is Africa’s best footballer?

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Never has there been as much bounty in terms of African talent as there is now. 

Although the continent has long been a conveyor belt of talent, genuine world stars from the African continent have been few and far between.

Stumbling block for the Pharaohs?

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Egypt might have won the last two African Nations Cup tournaments but the Pharaohs seem to have hit a stumbling block when it comes to the World Cup.

For all their prowess at the last two continental championships, and their glittering array of successes at club level, Egyptian soccer is becoming increasingly haunted by the spectre of continued failure to make it to biggest footballing showpiece of them all.

A tournament too far?

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A new soccer tournament is being played out in Ivory Coast this week to indifference from most of the continent. The African Nations Championship is proving to be the damp squib it always looked in danger of becoming.

The CHAN, keeping up the rich tradition of abbreviations for African sporting events, is a tournament designed to give more international competition to players based on the continent.

Africa still crying for freedom?

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“Sub-Saharan Africa: Year of Regression”. That was the heading used by U.S.-based rights group Freedom House in its survey of political freedom in the world published this week.

Of course the Freedom House survey pointed to the coups in Guinea and Mauritania as well as the situation in Zimbabwe, whose elections were condemned by many countries and where the crisis shows no sign of lessening, but there were plenty of other names on the list too:

Ivory Coast’s election dilemma

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ivorycoast_soldiers_ballots.jpgThe authorities in Ivory Coast have now embarked on what is supposed to be the last step of issuing identity papers to its citizens. Those who lost their papers during the war or never had any in the first place and missed out on previous hearings across the country are getting another chance .

This, in theory, will then allow those old enough to register to vote in elections, which are due to take place on November 30. These are the elections meant to end a crisis that was sparked by a short war in 2002-2003 and left the country, the world’s top cocoa producer and home to one of the region’s most stable and flourishing economies, divided between a rebel-held north and a government-controlled south.

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