Charles Davis, National Freedom of Information Coalition, Missouri School of Journalism: From the Netherlands to the Ivory Coast, people are gearing up all over the world for the 2010 World Cup that starts tomorrow. People will stop whatever they’re doing to watch the opening match of South Africa versus Mexico. Others will be lucky enough to watch it in person in Johannesburg where football enthusiasts are already blowing their vuvuzelas, or traditional South African trumpets. To prepare for the Cup, South Africans built and upgraded 10 state-of-the-art stadiums. Organizers projected the event will add about $2 billion to the economy and create thousands of jobs. That means a lot for a country with one of the highest chronic unemployment rates in the world. Although South Africa has the largest economy in the region, it faces huge challenges. In this post–apartheid era, the country still grapples with severe political corruption, racial inequity and one of the highest crime rates and HIV/AIDS rates in the world, with more than 40 percent of the people living below the poverty line. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said that the Cup has united his country. But will that unity last? Will the world move on from South Africa when the last game of the World Cup ends? What does the World Cup mean for the countries that compete, both the champions and the underdogs? With us today, we have Scarlett Cornelissen, professor of political science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; Selay Kouassi, freelance writer, Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Sebastiaan Gottlieb, reporter, Radio Netherlands, Hilversum, the Netherlands; and Larry Rohter, author of "Brazil on the Rise" and former Rio de Janeiro bureau chief of The New York Times. Scarlett, what does it mean to South Africans for the World Cup to be held in their country?
GLOBAL JOURNALIST: Excitement builds over World Cup
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