Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Angola 'Did You Know?'

Did you know that in another 55 days, Angola will host the African continent's premier sporting event?   Angola will host the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, the football championship of Africa and one of the qualifying events for next year's World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa.

The timing of Angola's hosting of this event is quite fortunate yet ironic for the country, since it is coming out of a long civil war.  With much of the country infrastructure either deteriorating or destroyed from the war, the push to improve the road, utility and building infrastructure in preparation for the games will provide a quick jumpstart for improvement. 

Over 600 million dollars will be spent on the building of four brand new stadiums in the four largest city.  The world-class quality stadiums are being built by Chinese construction companies and are quite a contrast to the surrounding mud-brick homes in the neighborhoods.

What impact will this event have on the country and people of Angola?   Firstly, it will be a great boon to put Angola on the map in Africa and expose to all the emergence of the country after war.   Secondly, the influx of tourist dollars will greatly add to the economy and the pockets of normal Angolans who become entrepreneurial sellers of tourist goods.   Lastly, in contrast, the exposure will highlight the great wealth disparity of the population.  It is estimated that probably only 10% of Angolans will be able to afford a ticket to any one of the tournament matches!    Hopely, the economic plight of the local churches will be hightlighted as well and be a point of concern for the Christian groups that will be attending the tournament's events.

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