Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mozambique & The Cup, 100 Posts and 1100 Days to Go

You'll notice by the long title of this post that I've a lot to cover ... let's get to it.

- Item: Mozambique eyes World Cup tourism windfall

We all knew the World Cup would help out the country of South Africa.
What wasn't as evident was how the tournament would help out the rest of the continent.
Sure, it would instill a sense of confidence & pride.
But what about economically?

According to a report in Reuters, Mozambique, South Africa's neighbor, plans to spend $600 million on new hotels, casinos and other leisure facilities as part of an effort to capitalize on a tourism boom expected when South Africa hosts the 2010 World Cup.

The tournament reaches out and helps the entire continent of Africa ...

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Albino Mahumana, Mozambique's national tourism director, said the southern African nation was hoping to lure a large number of visiting soccer fans to its famous beaches and colonial cities.

More than 300,000 tourists are expected to come to South Africa for the month-long soccer tournament, which begins on June 11, 2010.

The Mozambican capital Maputo is a few hours drive from Nelspruit, one of the nine World Cup host cities, and about six hours from Johannesburg, where the opening and final games will be played.

"We would like Mozambique to be a jewel for visitors when they come for the World Cup," Mahumana said. "Everybody else is focusing on this event, and we would like to make a major difference."

Although one of the world's poorest countries, Mozambique is experiencing an economic boom, and its government is keen to lure more tourists and foreign investors to further boost growth.

Mozambican officials predict that 2007 will be one of the best years for the country's tourism sector in decades, with the government forecasting more than a million visitors and tourism revenue of about $150 million.

Tourists generated $144 million for the former Portuguese colony in 2006, making the sector one of the largest sources of foreign exchange for the country.

Good luck to Mozambique. Their efforts will hopefully be well rewarded.

- Item: 100 Posts, 1100 Days to Go

Today marks my 100th post on this blog.

Coincidentally, tomorrow marks 1,100 days to go. 1,100 days to realize my goal and be in Jo-Burg for the World Cup Final.
So what's my status?

I've made contacts here and there, done research and certainly learned a lot about African football, which is frustrating and beautiful all at the same time.

It's a great analogy for my life at the moment, frustrating and beautiful. I haven't the time to make this blog what I'd like it to be. But the desire is there.
And free time will be coming my way very shortly.

Once that free time becomes available, I'll devour it like a cross into the box to Kanu and make sure to send the ball into the top-left corner, as hard as possible.

So, I'll say thank you to everyone whose path I've crossed in the time I've written this blog. It's amazing what writing a journal like this does. People from all over the world have been so encouraging and helpful. It amazes me and makes me so happy.

And I'll say I'm on my way. I feel the purpose of this blog is only an introduction to the wider projects I have in mind. I haven't played all my cards yet, so stay tuned. It should be an exciting, educational and interesting ride.

Isn't football great?

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