President George Weah on Monday, January 7, departed the country for Dakar, Senegal, as a guest of both his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), an Executive Mansion said in a release.
According to the release, President Weah joins his colleagues, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Adama Barrow of The Gambia, and the host President Macky Sall for this year’s CAF awards ceremony in Dakar.
The 27th edition of the CAF awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Centre international de conférences Abdou Diouf (CICAD), a newly built state-of-the-arts conference center in Dakar.
Shortly after arrival yesterday as a guest of the Senegalese government, President Weah toured the historic Goree Island, from where he addressed the famous Mariama Ba School, popularly known as Lycee d’Excellence Mariama Ba. The Lycee d’Excellence Mariama Ba, named after Mariam Ba, a prolific writer, feminist and social advocate, is an all-girls school which draws from outstanding students with an ‘A’ average across Senegal.
Goree’ Island, a World Heritage Site recognized by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was a major hub of the horrible Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Weah, the release said, is also expected to hold a closed-door meeting with his Gambian and Rwandan counterparts along with host Macky Sall Today. The meeting will focus on improving ties among the four countries.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon (Arsenal), Sane Mane of Senegal (Liverpool) and Mohamed Salah of Egypt (Liverpool) are the three finalists for the CAF 2018 “Player of the Year.” Mohamed Salah is the current holder of the title. The award ceremony was preceded on Monday, January 7, with a CAF organized match, dubbed “Senegal Legends (famous 2002 world cup squad),” which featureed a hordes of Africa’s soccer legends at the Leopold Senghor Stadium in Dakar.
The match, which is expected to be witnessed by several other dignitaries, including President Weah, aims at paying homage to Senegal’s fallen soccer star, Jules François Bocandé, regarded as one of West Africa’s best footballers of all time, and was named an African Football Legend by CAF in 2009.
Africa’s legends will also parade with former stars including Roger Milla and Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Kwame Ayew (Ghana), Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba (La Cote d’Ivoire), Nwankwo Kanu and Jayjay Okocha (Nigeria), Hossam Hassan Hussein and Mohammed Aboutrika (Egypt).
President Weah, the only African Ballon d’Or awardee, will be gracing the ceremonies. He won World’s Best, European and Africa’s Best Player of the Year in 1995. He also won the African Player of the Year thrice and runners up twice. The President will climax his visit on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, with a one-on-one meeting with President Sall.
While President Weah is away, according to an Executive Mansion press release, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Farlo McGill, will chair and coordinate the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President, and in telephone consultation with the President.