I am convinced that this World Cup has similar potential to rebuild fractured relationships, both within and outside Africa. I am equally convinced that it will do much to puncture the prejudices that, for many, unfortunately continue to define the image of the continent. The cup is a tremendous opportunity for Africa to show how, out of the headlines, it has changed for the better. There are, of course, countries where problems, conflicts and abuses have worsened. But these are the minority. There are many more where democracy and human rights have taken root, governance has improved, civil society has blossomed and opportunities are being extended to ever larger segments of the population. Four years ago, the World Cup altered many people's perception of Germany. This time, people will be surprised by Africa's remarkable progress and good spirits – and hopefully, its football teams.
The World Cup is Africa's chance to show how it has changed
April 26, 2010