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INSIDE AFRICA: In 2010, Africa Will Host Football's World Cup For First Time

Aired May 8, 2004 - 12:00   ET


TUMI MAKGABO, CNN ANCHOR: On the road to 2010, just who's ahead in the race to win (AUDIO GAP).



In 2010, Africa will host football's World Cup for the first time. The world football governing body, FIFA, promised the event to the continent after South Africa narrowly lost the 2006 bid to Germany. Five African countries are vying for the honor of hosting the prestigious event. The winner will be announced next Saturday.

Ahead of that, FIFA has issued its report on the readiness of the countries, and named South Africa, Egypt and Morocco as the top contenders.

So, just how prepared are they? First, a look at South Africa.


MAKGABO (voice-over): The official 2010 bid CD-ROM brings out all of the big guns to support South Africa's campaign, including two living legends: former President Nelson Mandela and English football star David Beckham.

Three years ago, South Africans were bitterly disappointed when their country narrowly lost the 2006 bid to Germany. So, this time, they're taking nothing for granted.

Bid Committee chief executive, Danny Jordaan, spends much of his time at airports these days, traveling the world to promote South Africa's bid.

DANNY JORDAAN, SOUTH AFRICA BID COMMITTEE: First of all on the basis of FIFA's own requirements, we've exceeded those requirements in 2006. We will rank equal to Germany and are ready to host. I think we are in a better place this time.

MAKGABO: Jordaan's Bid Committee got a major boost this week. FIFA's inspection team issued its much-awaited report on the readiness of the five countries bidding for the World Cup. The report describes South Africa's ability to host the event as excellent. The findings coming as no surprise to sports writer Jermaine Craig.

JERMAINE CRAIG, "STAR" NEWSPAPER: In fact, South Africa could host the World Cup tomorrow, looking at the FIFA requirements. The stadiums are in place. The infrastructure is pretty good. The transport communications networks are great. So, in terms of capacity and readiness, I think South Africa is probably the favorite.

MAKGABO: The favorite, Craig and others say, because of the country's infrastructure are often described as world class. Its two main airports at Johannesburg and Cape Town are among the best in the world. In fact, the International Air Transport Authority recently named Cape Town International the best global airport of its size.

The country's extensive network of roads is also a plus, and the Bid Committee is busy sprucing up its 13 proposed venues for the games.

But one negative against South Africa could be the high crime rate. High-speed patrols have increased along Johannesburg highways, but carjacking and other violent crimes continue. These players from one of the country's premier teams, Kaizer Chiefs, hope that will not put a dent in South Africa's chances.

JOHN LESHIBA MOSHEQU, BAFANA BAFANA & KAIZER CHIEFS: And I think South Africa deserves it. And more than any other thing, the continent itself deserves to have a bit of piece of this big cake.

MAKGABO: The Bid Committee claims over 130,000 jobs will be created if South Africa wins, and not just at grounds like these.

MOSHEQU: Imagine people, chefs and cooks, having to cook for Sudan and having to cook for Rwanda. And I think that is going to build a lot of people, and it will give them -- boost their esteem and their egos. But we are part of this world. These people are like us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On 15th May, it will bring an end to seven years of long and hard slog, with work around the clock from 1997 to 2004. And we hope that this time on the 15th of May this will be the biggest gift that FIFA can give South Africa on the 10th year of our celebration of democracy.

MAKGABO: A gift that will be a dream come true for a people for whom football is like a religion.


Well, FIFA's technical report describes Egypt's ability to host the World Cup as very good, making it the second top contender. That's good news for the country, since South Africa and Morocco were seen as the top two contenders before the report was released.

But obviously, Egypt is not satisfied with being No. 2. And as Shahira Amin tells us, its bid committee is working overtime to win the hearts of FIFA's judges.


SHAHIRA AMIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you've got it flaunt it. That seems to be Egypt's motto as it bids for the 2010 World Cup.

ALY EL DEEN HILAL, EGYPT MINISTER OF YOUTH: In Egypt, we have the commitment and the will to make the dream a reality in 2010.

AMIN: Egypt, which had teams in the 1934 and 1990 World Cups, is counting on its historic monuments, its appeal as a vacation destination and its location to help convince organizers.

OMAR SHARIF, ACTOR: Everybody knows a lot about our country, which is not only our country, but it belongs to the whole human race.

AMIN: And who best to make the appeal on Egypt's behalf than former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Ghali.

BOUTROS GHALI, FORMER U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Egypt wants to invite the family of nations, all the people of the world, because we have a very old tradition of hospitality.

AMIN: Sahar Hawary, an ambassador of Egypt's bid and the country's first female referee, staunchly believes Egypt has the ability to host the event.

SAHAR HAWARY, REFEREE: Well, the strongest point Egypt has, in my opinion, is actually Egypt hosting the African CAN for 2006.

AMIN: The Cup of Nations is Africa's biannual football championship, and Egypt hopes that preparations for this 2006 event -- the continent's biggest and most prestigious sporting event -- will help boost its chance of winning the World Cup bid in 2010.

Already, renovations have begun at the Cairo stadium, one of 18 stadium the country pledges to have ready in time for the event. The FIFA technical team that visited the country recently voiced concerns about heavy traffic in the Cairo metropolis and high pollution levels in the city of over 16 million.

Despite this, Mohammed Sergi (ph), a member of Egypt's Bid Committee, is optimistic Egypt will win the bid.

"We have all the criteria for success," he says. "History, a moderate climate, experience in hosting international events, but above all, safety and security."

Sergi (ph) is clearly referring to Egypt's success in clamping down on Islamist militants after a series of terror attacks, which targeted mainly tourists in the '80s and early '90s.

(on camera): Organizing the World Cup means increased job opportunities, visitors in the millions, a strengthening of the infrastructure; in short, a boost to the economy of the host country.

But for the people of Egypt, it means even more. They see it as a possible turning point, a chance for a new beginning, the start of an era of prosperity and peace.

For INSIDE AFRICA, Shahira Amin, Cairo.


MAKGABO: And after the break, we'll assess Morocco's chances, so don't go away.


MAKGABO: Welcome back.

FIFA rates Morocco's ability to host the 2010 World Cup as good, putting it behind South Africa and Egypt.

So, just how are the Moroccans reacting? Well, joining us on the line from Casablanca for some insight is journalist Hassan Boutabsil.

Hassan, good to have you join us. First off, I guess, tell us what people in Morocco are saying about this report.

HASSAN BOUTABSIL, JOURNALIST: First of all, I would like to say that there was a huge disappointment in Morocco after the publication of the FIFA Inspection Committee report ranking Morocco in third place, after South Africa and Egypt, in the chances to host the World Cup in 2010.

So, the Moroccan government and Mr. Saab Katani (ph), who is the head of the Moroccan bid, expressed Friday their surprise at the contents of the FIFA report, pointed out that it includes huge contradictions. For South Africa, they are saying that South Africa has the ability to host the World Cup, but at the same time in the report they are saying that it's not a safe place, and also they are speaking about us and so many other things.

On the other hand, they are speaking about Morocco, and they say that Morocco has the financial commitment of the government and Morocco is a safe place.

So, how can we interpret this? South Africa is an excellent country to bid the World Cup, and they are saying that it is not a safe place. And Morocco has most everything in terms infrastructure, some stadiums and their medical care and some other stuff, and saying that Morocco is a safe place.

So, there are so many contradictions. People are very disappointed about the FIFA Inspection Committee report.

MAKGABO: Well, Hassan, certainly contradictions are one thing, but there is a lot more to do with preparations than just security, even though security is a concern in Egypt as well. What is it then that people in Morocco think needs to be done or that Morocco has to offer that's going to be, say, Egypt or South Africa, considering both of these countries have the infrastructure already in place, and South Africa came so close last time that they don't have to do much more this time around perhaps to put them a little further ahead in the race?

BOUTABSIL: Yes, if you visit Morocco, the first feeling you have is that Morocco has a tradition of football, first of all. You would say that traditional football is not infrastructure. But we have the hotels. We have stadiums. In the report, they are speaking about three stadiums, which Morocco was due to build before. But as you know, when France hosted the World Cup in 1998, the big stadium was built after the decision. So, Morocco is waiting for the decision, and the three stadiums will be built.

In Germany, which will host the next World Cup in 2006, now they are building two stadiums. Now, at the moment, where I am speaking, in (UNINTELLIGIBLE), there is only this remark from the report saying that there's a lack of three stadiums. But we'll be ready for this. We have magnificent stadiums. We have hotels. We have telecommunication infrastructure and all (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And the Moroccan government will give and ensure the FIFA that we will give $800 million as a guarantee for building the stadiums. So...

MAKGABO: All right, Hassan, I'm afraid we're going to have to leave it there. We've run out of time. But once again, thank you very much.

Well, Tunisia and Libya put forward a joint bid to host the World Cup. The FIFA report describes their chances as a -- quote -- "nonstarter" -- unquote. But we must note that the report is not binding on those who will actually vote next week, and any one of the five countries could emerge as the winner.

Well, shifting focus now to bring you business news. For that, we turn to Nadia Bilchik -- Nadia.


The world's second-largest gold producer, Johannesburg-based Anglo Gold, is reporting a share drop in profits for the first quarter of this year. The company says its (UNINTELLIGIBLE) profits fell by 21 percent and blames it on the strength of the South African rand against the U.S. dollar. The company has reported an 11-percent drop in production due to low output from its mines in Tanzania, Mali and Argentina.

Forty-four African nations are backing a plan to reduce the cost of telephone calls between countries on the continent. The plan involves launching the first satellite dedicated exclusively to Africa in early 2006. The satellite should improve telephone services. The regional African telecommunications organization, RASCOM, is spearheading the project. Africa is the world's fastest-growing market for mobile phones with an estimated 52 million users.

In our business spotlight this week, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA. Passed by the U.S. Congress in 2000, it's aimed at improving trade between the U.S. and African countries. AGOA grants some African textile manufacturers duty-free access to the U.S. market, but that could soon be a thing of the past, as Carol Pineau explains.


ROSA WHITAKER, U.S. FORMER TRADE REPRESENTATIVE TO AFRICA: We are at a critical moment, because there are only about 30 legislative days left.

CAROL PINEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A call to action on Capitol Hill by the African Diplomatic Corps and top advocates pushing for the African Growth and Opportunities Act, also known as AGOA, to be extended.

A.T. DIAMINI, SWAZI PRIME MINISTER: AGOA is a fantastic legislation, and its introduction has completely changed the lives of our people in sub- Saharan Africa.

PINEAU: Supporters of AGOA say it's led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the continent and more than 18 billion U.S. dollars of exports last year from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress must extend AGOA beyond 2008.

PINEAU: Many in the U.S. Congress support AGOA, but political observers here say trade during an election year is a difficult issue, especially with U.S. job outsourcing already a sensitive topic.

CHARLES RANGLE, U.S. HOUSE MEMBER: The closer we get to the election, the more difficult it's going to be.

WHITAKER: We would like the White House to follow President Bush's lead in what the president said he committed and start making calls to get votes in their own party up here in Congress.

PINEAU (on camera): As it stands now, AGOA is set to expire in 2008, with some key provisions expiring as early as September of this year. Supporters say the Congress must act before the summer recess if these provisions are to be protected.

(voice-over): An item of clothing manufactured in Africa can enter the United States duty-free, even if the original fabric was produced elsewhere. This provision encouraged a number of Asian companies to set up shop in Africa, but those factories may close if the export advantages are taken away come September.

MPHO M. MALIE, LESOTHO TRADE MINISTER: The exporters are now sitting on the ground with 40 million U.S. dollars of suspended and canceled orders.

PINEAU: The bill is expected to pass in the House, but the Senate will be more difficult. The U.S. system allows for unrelated items to be attached to a bill, even items that would be at odds with supporters of the primary bill.

Experts say the key to passing AGOA in the Senate before September is keeping out controversial attachments.

Carol Pineau for CNN, INSIDE AFRICA, Washington.


BILCHIK: And that's a wrap of business news. I'm Nadia Bilchik.

Tumi -- back to you.

MAKGABO: All right, Nadia, thank you very much.

INSIDE AFRICA continues in just a moment.


MAKGABO: Welcome back.

Since 1994, musicians from different cultures gather annually in Fes, Morocco, to celebrate the world's diversity through music. In the run-up to the 10th anniversary concert to be held later this month, organizers took the show on the road, and one of the stops was Atlanta in the U.S.

Our Sally Graham caught up with some of the performers and spoke with them about the message of the festival.


SALLY GRAHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two sons, one of a prominent rabbi, the other the son of a revered Sufi sheikh from the West Bank. Gabriel Meyer and Yocoub Hussein (ph) singing together from their respective traditions, a ninth century text from Babylonia.

GABRIEL MEYER, ISRAELI ARTIST: And we're together, because if there is one God that means that we are brothers and sisters. So, we are singing in different languages but with exactly the same message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Mohammed to teach his people in there to believe in the way of Abraham, which is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of Abraham is the oneness. So, all of us means, as Jewish and Muslim and Christian, are one family. So, that's where we came from.

MEYER: I think the basic tool for peace is to inspire the other to trust you. And how do you inspire the others to trust you? By respecting his or her traditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like Gabriel, when he came the first time to my dad's Sufi mosque in the West Bank, he came with his drum and he sang a Sufi ancient song in there. And wow! And here we are today.

GRAHAM: Francoise Atlan, like Gabby (ph) and Yocoub (ph), traces the roots of a song she sings to Abraham. French-born Atlan was raised as a Jew in Algeria and lives in Marrakesh. She sings in Arabic, Hebrew and Ladino, the language of Jewish-Spain.

FRANCOISE ATLAN, ALGERIAN ARTIST: Alon (ph), our father, our father, and bless you, and light of the world. You are the light of the world. And the same thing in Arabic and Hebrew and Spanish, and in my tradition, it would be usual to sing in this free language.

GRAHAM: The Women's Hadra Ensemble from the Taroudant region of Morocco offers praise to Islamic saints through song and dance. Malika Ayet Shif (ph) is one of the ensemble's seven members from the Houariayat (ph) tribe.

"At this point in time, you need such things to reach peace and to reach unity, and for all nationalities to be brothers and sisters for peace to prevail all over the world, God willing," she says.

Fes Festival veterans, The Anointed Jackson Sisters, come from the African-American Christian tradition. They are the daughters of two pastors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this time, would you please welcome back to the stage our sister from Algeria, Francoise. Our sisters from Morocco. Our brothers, Gabriel, Yocoub (ph).

GRAHAM: Weaving together their musical and religious traditions of many continents, the Fes Festival presents what Francoise calls, a rich embroidery.

ATLAN: It symbolizes the love that exists among all of us, and that we could all come together and that, in fact, we are all the same.

Sally Graham for INSIDE AFRICA.


MAKGABO: And finally, we take a moment to look at your letters. Recently, we broadcast a segment of a documentary, "Surviving Hunger," by award-winning journalist Sorious Samura. And many of you wrote in to comment on that.


MAKGABO (voice-over): Seeking to highlight the hunger faced by those living in Ethiopia's rural areas, Sorious decided to spend 30 days living among them.

There were some like Mori in the United States, who felt the documentary served only to perpetuate negative stereotypes. "Shame on the man who did 'Surviving Hunger.' He's an African, and all that show did was degrade Africans all over the world," he wrote.

Dislike also came from Hunzinger in Germany, who said: "Your report about Ethiopia was false and distorting and done without thought, except to show something that has nothing to do with the overall situation there."

Solomom in the U.S. disagreed. He says: "It is well-known that Ethiopians are suffering, but the government is trying to cover up any which way they can."

2004 marks 10 years since the genocide in Rwanda. Today, fingers continually point at the international community for its lack of action in 1994.

That still infuriates Suraiya Abel in Norway: "The international community has blood on their hands and will never be forgiven by me. Politicians can criticize Paul Kagame, but they did nothing to stop the genocide. For us, the victims of the genocide, in 1994 while the killings were going on, every time RPF and Kagame were mentioned in the news it was sweet music in our ears as they are the ones that managed to end the killings while the rest of the world did nothing."

And finally, Abdulmalik Montaro wrote to comment on our story on a new reality show in South Africa, where walking into a booth and recording an act could make you a star. Abdulmalik thinks this unique concept should take root in Nigeria. He writes: "I think the "Be on M-Net" show is a splendid idea. We, here in Nigeria, desperately need a show like that. The common Nigerian hardly gets a chance to express him or herself on the local media."


And please do keep those letters coming. That's our look INSIDE AFRICA for this week. I'm Tumi Makgabo.



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