Well its over & the African showcase that was the World Cup has finished. As Spain (deservedly) celebrates and the circus leaves town, I am left to wonder “what next” for the continent?
Thankfully I am not the only one in a similar reflective mood. David Smith considers LAWC (Life After the World Cup) in the Guardian. His article includes reference to this being a “transformative moment” on par with the release from prison of Nelson Madela. He also cautions against premature optimism. This is wise.
My musings, my concerns are somewhat broader.
In the aftermath of a dismal England exit, I was in a similar reflective mood. It was something of a “what has the World Cup done for us” moment as borrowed from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
I return to my first World Cup blog, “Africa, the World Cup, & Supply Chain – what’s the connection?”. It will take many generations for Africa to reach “a ‘tipping point'; the point at which Africa emerges into an economic block that the world has to take seriously. A transition from recipient of sympathy and aid to proud and able wealth.”
So now that the show has left town, how will things change for most South Africans & Africans? How will their lives have been enriched?
I remain an ‘Afro-Optimist’, of the glass half full persuasion. As the attention of the World Cup fades, I believe that the collective conscience has been changed for good & forever. Our South African hosts have, I believe, left a positive legacy for the continent.
And fittingly this was reflected in a banner at the end of Sunday’s final that read “Viva Africa United”.
Photo credit: babasteve