June 21, when Egypt hosts Zimbabwe. Egypt was handed the event … society in her home country of Zimbabwe.
The discussion, moderated by Judd Devermont, the CSIS Africa Program director, and Richard Downie, a CSIS Africa Program senior associate, has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.
JD: To what extent does CAF think through the reputational risks of having events in places where there are concerns about human rights abuses? Should sports and politics be separate?
PA: When CAF awarded the tournament to Cameroon there were lots of questions raised both in terms of infrastructural capacity but also the fact that Cameroon is an authoritarian state with a very tense political situation owing to the unrest in the western part of the country. It made sense to take the tournament away from Cameroon, but then the tournament was given to Egypt, which is another dictatorship. It doesn't seem that CAF took human rights into consideration at all; had that been the case, maybe South Africa or some other country would have been preferred to Egypt.
AA: I think CAF has a duty to look at the most egregious abusers of human rights and those countries shouldn’t qualify. In 2014, when Morocco pulled out [of hosting AFCON], CAF had to scramble to find a replacement and ended up choosing Equatorial Guinea, where Teodoro Obiang has been in power for almost four decades and dissenters are sent to prison.
PM: My question would be: which African country would qualify that doesn't really have egregious human rights violations or has a robust and independent judiciary?
JD: What is the general state of corruption in African football? What reforms should be implemented?
AA: There are many instances of corruption because there are so many opportunities for football administrators to enrich themselves. We need to reduce the amount of money on offer.
PM: Africa has very fit athletes but not fit management. Good governance seems to elude them somehow. I've seen in Zimbabwe …
you to a panel discussion:
"Zimbabwe: Human Rights in Crisis"
Jendayi … John Makumbe University of Zimbabwe
Jeffrey Krilla Deputy Assistant … Department of State
Otto Saki Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights …
public health developments in Zimbabwe. Hopewell Rugoho Chin'ono … illustrating life for individuals in Zimbabwe living with HIV/AIDS. Jendayi … the current situation of Zimbabwe’s HIV positive population.