The African Union at Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed to its pavilion, the FIFASecretaryGeneral, Her Excellency Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura on Sunday the 17th of October 2021. H.E. Samoura was accompanied on the visit by a FIFA delegation that comprised former Samoan international and the now Chief of Women's Football Officer for FIFA, Sarai Bareman of New Zealand alongside Youri Djorkaeff, 1998 World Cup winner with France and now CEO of the FIFA Foundation.
The delegation was officially welcomed to the pavilion and hosted by the AU Expo Commissioner General, Dr. Levi Uche Madueke. Dr. Madueke led H.E. Samoura and her delegation on a full guided tour of the pavilion.
Dr. Madueke, the AU Expo Commissioner General said it was an honor to have one of the African continent’s greatest footballing exports to the global community. “Her Excellency is a remarkable ambassador for the African continent. With the eyes and expectations of the whole world on her organisation, she continues to lead in a remarkable and dignified style; inspiring the next generation of women, even back home”
Her Excellency, Fatma Samoura, from Senegal, rose to the second highest office of football’s governing body; making history by becoming the first-ever female Secretary General and also the first non-European to hold the second-most powerful post at FIFA.
“She is a living testimony of the great human spirit that women across the African continent have, and her astute leadership should serve as a model worth replicating as we build towards the Africa we want, which involves the development of capable and credible leaders, especially amongst our women and youth”, added Dr. Madueke.
“We thank the SecretaryGeneral of FIFA for stopping over at her home, because that is what the African Union is, a home for all African citizens, even those in the diaspora. Her vist signifies the importance of Africans (over and above the global community) taking an interest in coming to witness and learn more about the works of the African Union, alongside the member states here at Expo 2020” concluded the AU Expo Commissioner General.
Towards the conclusion of the guided tour, the SecretaryGeneral said that she was “delighted and proud of the work that the African Union is trying to achieve through its presence at the Expo 2020 Dubai.”
She went on to say “Africa is passionate about cultural diversity and football and the opportunity to talk about youth employment and empowerment through the most beautiful game, football” as she concluded her remarks.
Joining Dr. Madueke to welcome the FIFA delegation, were Ms. Ana Baber, the Commissioner General for Cabo Verde and Mr. Abdirahman Haji-Jama, the Commissioner General for the Republic of Somalia at Expo 2020.
Mr. Abdirahman Haji Jama said that he was pleasantly surprised to hear H.E. Samoura speak with him in his native Somali language, which she had learnt back when she spent 5 years living in Djibouti. “Her connecting with me in those few words from home highlighted the global citizen that she is and this is just a fragment of the great humanitarian the SecretaryGeneral embodies.”
Ms. Ana Barber noted that Cabo Verde, being a football loving nation dedicated to the cause of developing the game for the sake of her people, extended an invitation to the FIFA Secretary General to visit Cabo Verde’s pavilion at her convenience, in advancing the celebration of the African people who represent the continent well at the global scale.
The delgation rounded off their African pavilion trip with visits to the Madagascar and Senegal Pavilions as well as the Expo 2020 Sports Hub.
The AU Pavilion is located in the ‘Opportunity District’ at the Expo park, which as a subtheme; “Opportunity” aims to unlock the potential within individuals and communities in order to shape the future, by promoting among others new industries, employment, education, financial capital and good governance. Similarly, these are common areas highlighted in the AU Agenda 2063 ten-year implementation plan as main priority areas on which to focus.
The public, media and all other interested parties can keep up-to-date with the latest out of Dubai as well as get all the necessary information surrounding the AUC activities or events by visiting the official AU at Expo 2020 website: https://africaexpo2020dubai.au.int/en