Sene Diacounda, AIPS Young Reporter, Senegal
DAKAR, January 8, 2018 – On the main arteries, the information is within everyone’s reach. The trio of Mohamed Sallah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mané on a big poster flanked by the inscription ‘Caf Awards 2018’. With these imposing billboards, it is impossible for the passers-by not to pay attention. Senegal is hosting the 2018 CAF Awards, a ceremony of distinction that recognizes the best players and coaches who have made their mark in African football during the year.
On television, special shows are dedicated to the event. Interviews, profiles of the nominees, and so on, so that the Senegalese are aware of everything about this event that Senegal is honoured to host. “It’s an honour for Senegal and a recognition for our football to host the CAF Awards,” Sports Minister Malick Ba enthused.
For this honour, it was necessary that the organization of the event is at the highest level. Hence, even parliamentarians were mobilized. Last month, the Senegalese Minister of Sport had called on members of parliament to make CAF awards “a great achievement”. This call for the appropriation of the event by the people is also explained with the fact that Senegal wants to consolidate its achievements in organizin sport events since the country has been chosen to host the 2022 Youth Olympics.
Beyond the sports aspect, hosting the CAF Awards is also a business opportunity for Senegal. “It will allow us to attract the attention of others to find the private sector as it is a great visibility. It will also allow us to be the leaders of African and world sport and allow younger generations to enjoy sport,” Malick Ba explained.
Hosting the CAF awards is also a touristic opportunity for Senegal. This is the reason why the organizing committee chose Gorée Island to hold its press conference on Monday. “The choice of Goree Island is explained for its historical and tourist character,” CAF vice president Anthony Baffoe said.
A few hours to the big celebration of African football, everyone involved has expressed satisfaction with the organization. The winners of the CAF Awards will be known tonight.