Portsmouth striker Kanu, the most decorated player in African football history, said: "In football you cannot tell what is going to happen. We want an African team in the final and if that is Nigeria then great.
"We have to be positive and always believe we can make it and I believe we can really achieve something in the World Cup. Being in the semi-final and finals is our aim and we can do it. That is our dream and our goal and we will want to head towards it and we can get it."
Kanu has amassed over 80 appearances for Nigeria and was part of their FIFA U-17 World Cup winning team and triumphant 1996 Olympic winning side. The Arsenal, Ajax and Inter Milan legend has won six league titles in three different countries, three FA Cups, a UEFA Champions League, a UEFA Cup and a UEFA European Super Cup but the game's biggest prize has so far eluded him.
Kanu added: "Everybody wants to be at his best on the highest stage at the World Cup. "It is every player's dream to be playing in South Africa and being part of such a historic event. For me I want to score goals and if I can do that then we can do well."
Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament in Germany after an inconsistent campaign. However, Kanu says that disappointment makes him more determined to steer his team into the knock-out stages in South Africa.
"That's going to make us give more, especially Nigeria, we love soccer and everybody in Nigeria doesn't want to hear any excuse from us," he added. "They (Nigerians) want us to do well and the pleasure is theirs, so we really have to achieve and do something for them."
Kanu has became a firm fans' favourite with Premier League supporters since joining Arsenal from Inter Milan in February 1999. However, with Nigeria scheduled to meet England in the quarter finals, he insists there will be no divided loyalties.
Kanu said: "We don't care who we meet but we want to go higher and be in the semi-finals. If it is England then so be it. I know it's going to be difficult whoever we play but with the players we have got and working hard I think we can achieve it."
Nigeria begin their qualifying group with a difficult match against Argentina on 12 June. They are also paired with UEFA EURO 2004 winners Greece and Korea Republic. Whoever they exit the competition against will be Kanu's last opponents for his country, but the 33-year-old insists he is not ready to stop playing completely.
Kanu has been offered a new contract at Portsmouth but is also considering lucrative moves to Qatar and Australia. He said: "I know I cannot play on until I am 50 so this will be my last World Cup. I still feel I have something to offer and think I can play on at club level for two more seasons."