Fruits Of Synergy!

Visibly, the dream of Cameroon to stage an impressive Africa Cup of Nations and that of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to use 2021 TotalEnergies Cameroon AFCON to give a new impetus to African soccer is on a good footing. In effect, much-cherished synergy between the host (Cameroon) and the organiser (CAF) is levelling hitherto mountains and obliging prophets of doom to reread their visions.  
The state of infrastructure described variously as sublime by many football analysts, the determination of a people and their leader to give the continent and world a competition of high standards in “Africa in miniature” coupled with CAF’s ever presence to dish out guidelines rekindle hopes of a grandiose feast in Cameroon come January-February 2022. 
The just-ended information mission led to the host cities by the Minister of State, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic ascertains the state of preparedness to welcome Africa. Stadiums to host official matches as well as training grounds for the 24 teams spread through Yaounde, Douala, Garoua, Bafoussam, and Limbe-Buea are said to be ready. With a sitting capacity fluctuating between 20,000 and 60,000, these playgrounds have the advantage that they are either freshly constructed or refurbished to suitably stand the test of time. There is therefore no fear of decay at least in the nearest future. This alone guarantees the safety of spectators who will certainly throng the playgrounds to watch beautiful football made in Africa. Selected hospitals and hotels have reportedly stepped up their gear to give AFCON visitors good treats. While polishing up continues, the décor is already planted for the feast. 
Minister Ngoh Ngoh’s tour of the AFCON host cities might have looked like one for leisure and pleasure but the calibre of people he took along served to compare what exists here with others elsewhere. When soccer maestros like Babangida Tijani, El Hadj Diouf, Rigobert Song, Ndip Akem Victor, Samuel Eto’o, Geremi Njitap, Patrick Mboma and others are unanimous that Cameroon has lived beyond expectation, the joy can only be great. They who have played top-level football across the world and know what it takes to have what the country now boasts of as infrastructure. Assurance double sure for anyone who still doubted.
The story becomes even more sweeter when one considers the fact that Cameroon will be the second country after Egypt in 2019 to host the new format of the competition with 24 teams; from the hitherto 16. The context under which such giant infrastructure are executed gives a plus to the leadership of Cameroon. The Covid-19 pandemic that haunts life and livelihood; crumbling global and national economies and the difficulties such an environment has on mobilizing finances, notwithstanding, Cameroon is living up to her promise. Inspiring indeed!
Both the public and private sectors have worked together to ready the country for the upcoming competition. Government redoubled efforts, with instructions from its Chief Executive and orientations from CAF and private sector actors stepped in powerfully to construct or refurbish hotels. Visitors say all these infrastructure are appealing to the eye and present all what it needs to feel home far from home with the bungle is blown. 
Little wonder that CAF, through its First Vice President lauded President Paul Biya for the achievements. Telling Cameroonians that CAF is satisfied with what it saw and that after the Head of State’s instructions, “we noticed serious changes on the ground and activities have gone on at a satisfactory pace,” like Augustin Senghor said on October 22, 2021, is far from mere diplomacy. He and CAF’s Chief Scribe, Veron Mosengo-Omba, were just fresh from visiting Garoua, Bafoussam and Yaounde where they came face-to-face with reality.  The signing of the Framework Agreement was therefore the consecration of the Cameroon-CAF fruitful synergy that sets the ball rolling for what is expected to be a charming tournament in 2022. 



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