AFCON Sustainability : Using Sports To Reinvigorate African Value

AFCON Sustainability

Whether it is the Suez Canal with its development zone, the Egyptian media production city, or the pyramids at Giza, these landmarks portray what makes Egypt the cradle of humanity and civilization and the just ended AFCON demonstrated such values.

African senior media professionals in Egypt for workshops and seminars on the role of the media in support of sustainable development are being exposed on a daily basis to various aspects of sustainability in development. One of the outings to another pride of Egypt was the Cairo International stadium where participants’ witnessed the 32nd final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The coveted African nations’ football trophy vied for by Senegal and Algeria attracted thousands of fans that had streamed to Cairo for the event. Participants at the workshops on the media and sustainable development were also to share in the excitement. Surprisingly, Algeria’s lone winning goal propelled by Algerian striker, Boumedja was scored within the first three minutes of the game. This gave Algeria the pride of becoming winner of the 32nd edition of AFCON 2019 and the first time for this country to lift the trophy playing out of their country. Algeria won the cup for the first time in 1990 when it hosted the continental tournament of the year. Believed by many spectators to have played well, Senegal lost to Algeria with a score of 1-0. Football though, a game of unpredictability, the 32nd edition of AFCON was marked by many surprises: the Pharaohs of Egypt, Cameron’s Indomitable Lions and the Super Eagles of Nigeria could not make it to the finals. Despite all that happened, some observers conclude that the encounter between the indomitable Lions of Cameroon, and the super Eagles of Nigeria, marked the most thrilling phase of AFCON 2019. However, in football, like other encounters in life, the glories of the past are hardly forgotten. Egypt has won the trophy seven times and Cameroon five. The pharaohs of Egypt won the trophy of the first edition in Khartoum, 1956. Launched that year with only three countries; Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the jamboree today brings together 24 football teams from African to compete and celebrate the joy of living in peace on their continent. As AFCON continues to bring together African nations to share in fireworks, dancing and hand clapping the ideal is that African nations should talk continental cooperation and sustainability, with focus on political stability. Without this norm, terrorism and extremism could render unsustainable all that makes it possible for AFCON and south-south cooperation to forge ahead.

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