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Gabon, Equatorial Guinea lay out red carpet for big tourney – posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

 

Gabon, Equatorial Guinea lay out red carpet for big tourney

 

Libreville’s new stadium. Photo | GABON COCAN |
 

 

By MWENDA wa MICHENIPosted Thursday, January 12  2012 at  18:36

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The jovial mascot for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, a gorilla named Guagieto symbolising Africa’s efforts to conserve its rich biodiversity, is already on the streets. Many bets have been made and teams are on their last preparations ahead of a tournament that the entire continent is eagerly waiting for.

On the streets of Malabo and Libreville, the two cities co-hosting the matches between January 21 and February 12, are fresh architectural masterpieces standing alert ready to usher in thousands of visitors.

The 2012 tournament will not be restricted only to the pitches. This is why the two cities– listed as some of the most expensive in the world– have prepared generous packages for the different players. Already, diplomatic gestures ahead of the games have let on who is in bed with who, besides giving the two countries a chance to display their arsenals and varied intentions.

Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, two countries on the Gulf of Guinea with growing influence around the region, especially due to their oil and other natural resources are ready to roar. The joint bid that beat Nigeria, Mozambique, Senegal and Zimbabwe that were keen on hosting the event in itself a strong statement of intent. The two even set aside a dispute over Mbanie Island to embark on their joint interest in the tournament, a sign of likely future trends.

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