As journalists from around Africa descended on the small Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown for the annual Highway Africa conference, a continent celebrated the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
The conference - the largest of its kind in the world - brings together around 700 journalists from the continent of Africa every year to talk about issues of reporting on and within Africa. This year the topic on everyone's mind was 2010 and what it means for Africa.
At a lavish opening ceremony in the nearby city of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, close to 400 journalists from around the African continent were treated to a view of the now complete Nelson Mandela Bay stadium which will host a number of games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including one of the quarter final matches of the four-week tournament.
The conference provided an opportunity for the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan to spread the 2010 message to the rest of the continent.
"The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be African football's crowning glory for the incredible contribution this continent's footballers have made to the global game. We as South Africans are honoured to be hosting Africa's first FIFA World Cup on behalf of the entire continent. And it's critical for us at the 2010 Organising Committee that we involve and engage our fellow Africans in the World Cup process. Highway Africa gives us a wonderful opportunity to interact with hundreds of African journalists from over 40 countries," said Jordaan.
With numerous workshops and talks on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the African media's role in reporting on it, the journalists , who have the important task of reporting on 2010 progress to their audience across the continent, took in the excitement around the upcoming football spectacular.
"It is an opportunity for South Africa to deliver and to prove to show the world the African way to do business," said Gills Eric Foadey who hails from Cameroon - a country that has produced 375 volunteer applications for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
For Zambian journalist, Chishaen Masengu, the 2010 FIFA World Cup will undoubtedly be a massive occasion for the continent.
"I feel that, on behalf of South Africa, Africa is extremely ready for 2010. With the example South Africa has given in the rugby world cup and its historical background, it stands a very good chance of hosting the best world cup ever."
Some of the visiting journalists are even making plans to contribute to the impact of the tournament on Africa.
For award winning Tanzanian blogger, Nadine Tchaptchet-Kouamouo, she plans to use her skills to start a public conversation among African women.
"I am very excited about 2010 and I believe it will be a success. To that end I want to create another blog for the world cup where women can put their views about the event. I want them to write about how they feel about Africa's first World Cup."