Stofile: Sport an instrument to promote unity, solidarity and peace

Staging the FIFA World Cup in 2010 could leave behind a legacy of undoing the historical marginalisation of Africa from the mainstream of world football and of the economic spin-offs that flow from it.

This would need a correct and strategic approach to planning and preparing for the event, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Rev Makhenkesi Stofile said when addressing the second 2010 National Communication Partnership conference at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg yesterday.

“Informed by our common goal of building a better Africa, communicators from all corners of Africa should strive to speak with one integrated and coherent voice”, the Minister said.

The 2010 National Communication Partnership includes communicators from government, business and civil society working together to take advantage of the 2010 World Cup to project the country and the continent positively to the world.

This year’s conference, themed “Africa’s time has come”, brings together marketers, communicators and other interested stakeholders from across Africa to discuss how to create a new and lasting impression of Africa that will encourage foreign investment and a global mind-change about the continent.

Minister Stofile pointed out that the Conference would adopt a communication strategy to profile the continent and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ legacy. The world must hear about the vision and plans, of the progress and challenges from Africans themselves.

That is why forging communication partnerships is so critical.

The Minister said that while football has been played on the continent for a long time, it remains marginalised in world terms. It is now time for African football to be taken seriously in the community of football playing nations.

The African Union has declared 2007 the International Year of African Football, underscoring the United Nations view that sport can be an instrument to promote unity, solidarity and peace.

It can also encourage a healthy lifestyle and positive values among citizens – and help to build economies. This can be seen in towns like Manchester, Madrid, Barcelona and Milan.

So sport can be a useful tool to attain the Millennium Development Goals for Africa. It should contribute to strengthening NEPAD as Africa’s blueprint.

Preparations for 2010 must be linked to the achievements of the political leadership in advancing multi-party democracy. It must contribute to the end of bad governance in sport, the Minister said.

Download The Minister’s full speech…[PDF: 775kB]

ENDS

Issued by: Meropa Communications
On behalf of: International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC)

For more information, please contact:
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