Saturday, June 12, 2010

Special Report Relating to the World Cup from Kofi Annan and Didier Drogba

This newsflash from the Daily Graphic (Ghana's biggest selling newspaper since 1950) is yet another reason why I should be following the World Cup!

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, and Didier Drogba, the UN Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador and soccer star published a report today (Thursday, June 10th) titled, "Scoring for Africa--An Alternative Guide to the World Cup."

The report is a novel way to draw attention to a country based comparison of key indicators of development including access to education, gender equality, economic growth, human development, and CO2 emissions. So, how is the World Cup related to this report? The report is written in the form of the World Cup schedule of matches. For example, the first country comparison is between South Africa and Mexico (game scheduled to play on June 11th). Rather than compare their offense or defense strengths, you will see comparisons in life expectancy, corruption perception rank, environmental performance rank, etc.

Some highlighted comparisons include (from press release):
  • 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 of the report, Kofi Annan and Drogba say, “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’ economies and political relations; and that the celebration ofour common humanity should not be limited to one month every four years.”

What do y'all think of the report? Will the World Cup in South Africa bring developmental progress to the entire continent of Africa? Will this month of soccer fervor be more than just a sports competition? What kinds of changes can happen with this spotlight on Africa?

1 comment:

  1. very interesting, i like the Kofi Annan quote. The disparities are shocking.