Monday, January 21, 2008

Ghana hopes for a big payday from CAN

Ghana will earn $1 billion from the African Cup of Nations, said Sam Danquah from the cup’s executive committee.

From the Journal Chretien,

“Ghana will earn US$1 billion from spending by visitors who will purchase souvenirs, rent hotel accommodations, taxis and transportation as well as on food and other expenditure,’’ Danquah said.

“If each visitor spends US$500 for the three weeks and with about a million visitors, that will bring in so much money,’’ Danquah said, adding that there would be some direct investments.

He explained that the cost for the development of stadiums and other infrastructure for the tournament would be recouped in about 50 years.

Each visitor spending $500 in three weeks sounds like a lot of money to me. My guess, though, is that a lot of people in the service industry and the non-informal sector will do pretty well during the 20-day tournament that got underway last night.

Unlike in other countries hosting large sporting events, it will be interesting if someone in Ghana comes clean with the full bill for CAN. I am a big sports fan, but I don't understand wasting money on stadiums that only a few people will benefit from. It strikes me as a form of corporate welfare. In this case, maybe it's government welfare. However, I wonder how many Ghanaians feel that way today.

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