Afcon: Time for Transparency

It is now three weeks since news broke of Namibia pulling out of a joint bid with neighbours Botswana to compete for rights to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2027.

The bombshell was dropped in the public through a leaked letter from sports minister Agnes Tjongarero to her Batswana counterpart on Namibia’s inability to continue the bid as co-host of the continental showpiece. 

The three most senior officials – the minister, deputy minister and executive secretary – in the sports ministry promised to shed more light on what led to Namibia’s decision. 

To date, no press conference has been held, nor any statement issued to explain Namibia’s position.

Taxpayers have a right to know the reasons for the decision and the implications for the country. Continued silence on the issue has the potential to harm Namibia’s reputation as a country that cannot be trusted or partnered with on these kinds of projects. 

It also speaks to a lack of accountability to the citizenry. Above all, Namibia’s initial interest in and subsequent withdrawal from the Afcon bid holds lessons for government officials about learning to plan properly before jumping into costly projects.

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