The Egyptian national football team beat their Ghanaian opponents 1-0 to win a record seventh title at the African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola. The Egyptians however did not qualify for the World Cup that will be held in June in South Africa, having lost to rivals Algeria in the qualifiers. Egypt beat Algeria in the semis of this tournament. I must confess that due to the time difference and a rather busy schedule I did not watch a single game of this tournament. That said, I was disappointed by the performance of the teams that qualified for the world cup. Nearly all of them struggled in the groups stages. They will definitely have to polish up if they expect to get somewhere in the World Cup tournament later in the year in South Africa.
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.