African journalists have been challenged to capitalize on the gains made by the continent after hosting the 2010 World Cup to re-brand and reposition the continent for positive gains.
Panelists at the 5th Africa International Media Summit (AIMS) in Durban South Africa were of the consensus that positive and image enhancing stories that emanated from the World Cup must be sustained as part of efforts to develop Africa.
Leading panelist at the Summit, Miss Mary Papayya, Editor of Sowetan in the Kwazulu Natal Province and Deputy Chairperson of South Africa National Editors Forum, said the gains of the World Cup must not be allowed to erode with ease but must be sustained with continuous stories as part of the re-branding and repositioning of the continent for the future.
“We have made much gains in all aspects of life and it is up to journalists on the continent to capitalize on this to project the image of the continent.
“Our continent has suffered from negative stories for years and it is about time for us to do away with such negative images by capitalizing on the successes of the 2010 World Cup”. She noted.
Tony Reguster, Senior Partner, Division Twelve Media, United States of America (USA), a panel member at the Summit, said one of the ways to sustain the gains is for South Africa to consider hosting the Olympics Games in the near future.
He said the huge sporting infrastructure must not be left idle or to rot but must be put to good use and hosting the Olympic Games and other international events will be the best way to make use of the legacies.
“It will be incredible, sensational and phenomenal to have the Olympic Games in Africa because we have quality athletes on the continent and they can make us proud as well”. He indicated.
“The next Olympic Games after Brazil must be in Africa and South Africa should be the host because the facilities from the World Cup are intact and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must consider this,” Reguster said.
Over 50 African journalists, Public Relations practitioners, student-journalists and communications experts attended the two day Summit held in Durban, South Africa to conduct a post mortem on the 2010 World Cup.
The Summit was under the theme, “The impact of the 2010 World Cup on the image of Africa” and organized by Africa Communications Agency (ACA).