Monday, July 9, 2007
An update on our post of a few days back about Mozambique and their statewide development ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Reuters is reporting that the World Bank agreed on Monday to give Mozambique $100 million in credit to help upgrade its road network, most of which was damaged and neglected during a 17-year civil war that ended in 1992.
Mozambique's government sees road and bridge construction and modernization as key to boost economic growth in the southern African nation, which relies on agriculture and tourism for the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings.
Improved roads could allow Mozambique to lure foreign tourists who visit neighboring South Africa for the 2010 soccer World Cup. Mozambique's capital Maputo is a few hours drive from Nelspruit, one of the host cities for the tournament.
"We have the 2010 soccer event in South Africa in just three years, therefore, roads and bridges are very important if we want to reap the benefits," Fecilio Zacarias, Mozambique's minister of public works, told Reuters.
Very encouraging news for the southern African nation. We wish them well and will provide further updates as we get them.
On to other encouraging news ...
Wins for Gambia and Congo at the under-20 World Cup in Canada on Sunday secured second round places for all the four African sides in the tournament.
Gambia and Congo dramatically beat Portugal and hosts Canada 2-1 and 2-0 respectively to book their places in the last 16.
They will join Nigeria and Zambia who secured their second round place on Saturday.
Congo now advance to the last 16 to meet Mexico on Thursday while Nigeria face Zambia.
Gambia will take on Austria on Wednesday.
The talent is obviously there at the youth levels.
Why don't these results transfer to the senior international levels?
Somewhere along the line, the talent is either misused or misplaced.
Does anyone have an answer to this befuddling question?
Ultimately, the answer to this question will tell us why an African nation hasn't yet won the World Cup. There are probably a vast number of answers, from poverty to disease, from wars to social upheaval.
Still, the talent is there. If it can be harnessed efficiently, an African nation can lift the trophy sooner rather than later.