In countries previously lacking behind in development, roads have been constructed, medical facilities built, zones electrified and development of new technologies accelerated because of the African Cup of Nations. This is something the Confederation of African Football can legitimately be proud of. Possibly, the biggest benefit of hosting the AFCON is the investment in networking infrastructure - namely telecommunications, roads, rail, hotels and electricity which would have otherwise taken decades to achieve.
Our decision to submit a bid to host this prestigious event and our selection will be an investment decision in the long-term growth of Liberia. If this investment pays off, it has the potential to elevate Liberia’s longer-term growth rate, which will mean more jobs over time and also a successful hosting of the event would leave foreign visitors and media with a positive image of the country so that we see growth not only in our tourism, but also in trade and investment flows. Some of the benefits experienced by host countries before, during and long after the hosting of the African Cup of Nations competitions include the following:
• A catalyst for new and improved facilities to support the development of the game at all levels;
• Increased number of and higher quality football development program for both the elite game, talent identification and grassroots ;
• Increased cooperation and goodwill between various stakeholders – the Liberia Football Association, the Government of Liberia and other bid stakeholders such as the host cities, commercial partners, development partners, the media and the community at large; and
Increased civic pride and community empowerment as groups of stakeholders get to contribute to and support the bid, together with new skills and training for those involved in delivering the event. To be continued in next edition.