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SA, KZN Leaders and Media honoured at International African Summit in Durban
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SA, KZN Leaders and Media honoured at International African Summit in Durban

SUBJECT: HISTORIC AFRICAN SUMMIT IN DURBAN, KWAZULU-NATAL, ENDS ON A HIGH

SOUTH AFRICA’s 2010 Organizing Committee CEO Dr Danny Jordaan received his first award on African soil when he was awarded a pristine white beaded miniature replica of the 2010 Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last night (6 November 2010). Jordaan was honoured for his role in ensuring that SA and Africa delivered on a successful 2010 World Cup. The Moses Mabhida Stadium has always been considered his most favourite 2010 landmark.

Kwazulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize also received high honour for his exceptional leadership and vision and for also hosting a unique 2010 programme in his province to make 2010 a lasting legacy for his province. South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) Deputy Chair Mary Papayya, who is also the KZN Editor of the Sowetan Newspaper, was honoured for her general contribution to journalism excellence and leadership on the African continent.

The Living Legend award for soccer excellence went to soccer legend PELE. SA journalists Canaan Mdletshe (Sowetan), Zanele Buthelezi (SABC) and veteran journalist Subry Govender were given special achiever awards for their exceptional 2010 reporting. The SA National Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) received honour for the media entity that delivered on its mandate to take the World Cup to millions around the world. AIMS office bearers from around the world received certificates for their achievements.

The awards were made at the Africa Living Legends Banquet which was the climax of the 5th Annual Africa’s International Media Summit (AIMS). The two day summit that deliberated the impact of the 2010 World Cup on the image of Africa, took place at the historic Durban Manor Hotel. The hotel is a national monument. The summit was organised by the Diaspora African Forum (DAF) and the African Communications Agency (ACA).

“People said we would not be able to host this World Cup, but we delivered. People said we should not bill this as an African World Cup, with all that is going in the African continent, with the famine, civil war, child soldiers,” said Jordaan.

“They said we did not have the infrastructure and the technology to deliver an event of this magnitude. Because of this Fifa advised us to have a plan B, but then when the World cup arrived and even before that it started it emerged that we were the first country in the world to host the World Cup that delivered all its the infrastructure ahead of time.

“It was the first time that the World Cup was broadcast in HD and 3D. It was the first ever in FIFA history that matches were watched on mobile phones – this did not happen at the last Germany World Cup, but in Africa,” he added. The SA 2010 World Cup proved to be the one with the lowest crime rate in the history of the event.  “They said this World Cup would make FIFA bankrupt, yet 700 million watched the event and it raked in an amount of $2.5 billion for FIFA. This World Cup debunked all the myths and distortions,” he added.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said the SA 2010 World Cup was used to market not only KwaZulu-Natal as a province but the whole of Africa and South Africa. “We hosted dignitaries, celebrities and ambassadors. We showcased our province and country not only as a tourism destination but also as one in which international investors could invest. People will remember us for the Vuvuzela that even Chinese people were able to pronounce when they left.”

He said the greatest achievement of the SA 2010 World Cup was that it united the people of Africa. “We debunked all the myths surrounding Africa. We slayed the dragons of pessimism about Africa. It was pessimism where people thought that nothing worked, there is constant fighting, coups and famine – they never had a reason to praise Africa. Africa is now the envy of many countries who still want to host the World Cup. The SA 2010 World Cup attracted 28 heads of states, 20 of them from Africa – very few countries that have hosted the World Cup can record this, said Mkhize.

“We were honored to host the fifth summit in Durban the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It was our intention to say thank you to the people of South Africa for organizing a first class event in Africa.  The event put the African continent on the world stage. The re-branding of Africa is an evolving process that will continue over a period of ten years until Africa is set in a more positive light in the minds of millions,” said H.E AU Ambassador Dr. Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission DAF.

The deliberations of the media summit attended by football masters and legends, and media including leading African and South African journalists, and students, will be tabled before the AU as part of the process to leverage a more positive image for Africa from all leaders including government and the media.

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