AFCON 2016 Hosting, Curse or Blessing?

While some are happy given the development inclination of hosting the Female African Cup of Nations, others say it has only come to compound their daily struggles in life.

By Queen Achingale Anyifuet

According to a technician at one of the construction sitesin Buea, Mr. Clovis T, hosting the competition has met with his development expectations. He says host cities especially Buea can now boost of new structures such as two playing grounds and hotels thanks to the competition.

“Hosting AFCON 2016 has brought positive aspects to the social, cultural and even economic sector of our country. Today, we have infrastructures sprouting up, roads reconstructed and hotel facilities improved. So, to me, it has brought development to the host cities and even beyond” the technician said.

In the same vein, one time player with Tiko United, Mr.Akwe Hoffman, says hosting an event of such magnitude is always pregnant with lots of opportunities. According to the Professional foot baller, one of such opportunities is that it is a great occasion for Cameroon to sell itself to the international community.

“When Cameroon got visa to host a competition of such magnitude, I knew it is more of a blessing. I am certain the wide media coverage this competition will enjoy is going to expose Cameroon to the world not just as Africa in miniature, but also as a great football nation to reckon with in terms of female football” Mr. Akwe said.

He indicated that because of new sports infrastructures, the professional level of Cameroon’s football locally will be improved on.

“The newly constructed stadia and training grounds have come to enhance football in the country. Some youths have gained employment (though temporal) at ongoing works at construction sites. Some businessmen will enjoy fast returns all because of this event” he added.

There are however, other Cameroonians, who think the hosting of such an event has only come to make life more difficult for the common man.

A teacher with Government Nursery School Great Soppo, Otto Ule Regina says if the man on the street cannot have a home to sleep in all because of a competition, then she sees no value in hosting such an event.

 “I think the nation’s cup has only come to add misery to the lives of the common man.  What kind of development will it bring to these people whose houses have been demolished and have been left to sleep in the cold? The financial benefits from hotels and other businesses will be enjoyed by just a handful while the greater majority of the people will continue to live in misery” Mrs. Otto Ule lamented.

On his part, a businessman in the Bonduma Neighbourhood, Mr. Jules Ngwa, says all development actions are belated. To him, each Cameroonian has the right to development and such benefits should not only come when competitions are coming up.

“As Cameroonians, we are supposed to enjoy very good transport facilities. Look at the Limbe road, because of its bad state, I cannot count the number of human and material loss we have paid for. Now, the government is only doing so because of AFCON” Mr Ngwa lambasted.

Another Buea based business lady, Patience Mbuge says the development moves by the government has instead had a counter feedback

“Most structures were demolished to give Buea a face lift but today, those whose houses were demolished are putting up funny structures just to meet up with accommodation needs. If these persons had enough time, they would have built modern structures” she said.

Whatever be the case, one thing remains certain, as a coin has two sides, so too is such a competition: developmental benefits and ‘sacrifices’. Whatever side of the coin we find ourselves, hosting the African Nations Cup prides our dear fatherland first, and the benefits can follow suit.