The two major African figures call for the spirit of fairness embodied by the World Cup to be applied broadly to continent’s relations with the rest of the world
Wednesday 9 June – Ahead of the kick-off of the 2010 World Cup on Friday, former UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan and United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador and football star Didier Drogba will today publish ‘Scoring for Africa – An Alternative Guide to the World Cup’.
Set out in the form of a ‘grudge-match’ report, the publication compares the ‘vital statistics’ of each African country in the games against their competitors in terms of development – examining key indicators such as economic growth, CO2 emissions, access to education and human development.
The guide highlights that although African nations have a fair playing field when it comes to football; this is not the case when it comes to compete internationally on issues such as trade or the fight against climate change.
For example, the report shows that:
- The average life expectancy in Nigeria is 48 years, compared to 75 years in Argentina.
- Women in Côte d’Ivoire are eight times more likely to die as a result of child birth than their Brazilian counterparts.
- Japan has donated $93.6 billion in ODA whilst Cameroon has received $5.2 net ODA.
- In South Africa 44.5% of parliamentarians (in the lower or single house) are women, compared to 18.9% in France.
- Algeria is contributing only 0.32% to the world’s yearly CO2 emissions, while the US contributes nearly 16%, making it the world’s second largest carbon emitter after China.
In the foreword to the report, Annan and Drogba state: “We passionately believe that fair play should not be limited to the way countries play, run and score against each other, but also the way they do business and politics with each other; that the spirit of the World Cup should extend into countries’ economic and political relations; and that the celebration of our common humanity should not be limited to one month every four years”.
Both figures hope that as well as celebrating the World Cup, ‘Scoring for Africa’ makes football fans around the world aware of another dimension to the tournament, and ensures that the outpouring of goodwill for the continent around the games is channelled towards a fairer world over the long term.