Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you out there.

Let’s start off the year by looking at the one thing that the Continent needs really badly: economic growth. Uganda’s New Vision reports that African business people have positive expectations for the new year. Responding to a survey by Africa Practice most of them believed that intra-continental trade as well as FDI would increase in the coming year. Perhaps most crucially, a plurality of those polled believed that infrastructure development – ICT and what not – would be more influential to business development than politics. For a very long time Africa’s governance challenges have retarded economic development. May be economic development might be the key that will incentivise good governance. Angola, Namibia and Kenya, to some extent, are the countries that may prove this prediction right in 2010.

2010 will also be a footballing year for the Continent. From January 10 – 31 Angola will host the 27th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN). May the best team win, and I hope none of the Continental heavyweights will pick up injuries because come June South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup. The Continent has good teams in the World Cup and this might just be the year that an African team wins the coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.

And in other news, South African president – Jacob Zuma – just got married for the fifth time and is engaged to at least one other woman. I still stand by my previous comments on this matter.

cameroon to face egypt in cup final

Cameroon and Egypt will have a rematch of their group stage encounter at the final of this year’s Africa cup of nations to be played on Sunday. The indomitable lions will be looking to redeem themselves after having lost 2-4 to Egypt in the group stage earlier in the tournament. In the semi finals Cameroon beat the favorite hosts Ghana one nil while Egypt convincingly beat the Ivory Coast by four goals to one. Ghana will play the elephants from Yamoussoukro for the third and fourth place.

In related news, the Ivorian captain Drogba has requested never to be considered for the African player of the year award after CAF refused to award him the title even though he won the ballot because he did not show up.This is strange considering the fact that CAF knew that Drogba was engaged in the tournament in Ghana. It beats logic that CAF decided to hold the awards in a different country while the continent’s premier tournament was taking place in Ghana. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the usual contesters for the title – the likes of Essien, Drogba, Jaidi, Eto’0 etc- would still be involved in the latter stages of the tournament because their national teams are very strong. Shame on CAF for this let down. Kanoute was not a bad choice, but to deny Drogba simply for not showing up, and knowing that he was involved in the tournament (which is organised by the same CAF) is simply silly.