1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Sport plays a key role in Africa. The continent’s particular passion for football stretches back long before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Through its impact on social policy and social integration, sport can make an important contribution to achieving development objectives in African countries, including health promotion, violence prevention, gender equality, good governance and environmental awareness. Team sports and sporting activities that do not require expensive equipment are a particularly effective means of reaching and motivating young people. They provide access to disadvantaged groups, help develop social skills such as the ability to deal constructively with losing, and encourage fairness and tolerance. Sport’s potential for promoting development is unlocked when the right social, cultural and economic conditions are in place, and when it is taken seriously and taught professionally. There have been few efforts thus far to use sport to achieve development policy objectives in many African countries. Often, sports grounds and sports education provision are lacking in the very places where children and young people need them the most. Implementing inclusive, sports-based development projects and sports-friendly infrastructure effectively and sustainably requires viable concepts and a base level of expertise. When integrated into development-oriented education and youth work, sport creates opportunities and prospects. Since the United Nations goal of maintaining international peace and security, states looked for other ways to legitimize their superiority peacefully and the use of sports as a tool of soft power is one (Cooper 2004). It is for this reason that sports can be considered as one of the most exciting modern phenomena—modern because, in its current form, it was born no longer than 150 years ago, exciting because it wins the interest of millions of people (Kobiereck, 2013). International community uses international organizations to engage states in multilateral relations; sports too have international sporting organizations for various sports but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the only organization that brings together all professional sports and states in one venue at one point. It is for this reason that the IOC is the most competitive in international arena for states to acquire prestige and build their image. “Moreover, the Olympic Charter concedes that at the heart of the modern Olympic movement is a desire to contribute” "to building a peaceful and better world." Sports have become an instrument of identity for countries. Globally the phenomenon of integration has continued to gain momentum, bringing a proliferation of cooperation all around the world. Integration is proceeding rapidly as the result of the increased flow of trade, capital, money, direct investment, technology, people, information, and ideas across national boundaries. Africa too is keeping up with this trend. The history of Regional Integration in Africa dates back almost a century, most of which has colonial historical connotations. Indeed since their independence African countries have embraced regional integration as an important component of their development strategies and concluded a very large number of Regional Integration Arrangements (Hartzenberg, 2011) African leaders at that time and even now see integration as a rational response to the economic challenges faced by many of their countries. Although regional integration makes sense for Africa; a continent characterized by small countries, small economies and small markets, these agreements have mixed levels of commitment and success rate. Africa's regional’s Integration are generally very ambitious and have unrealistic time frames. They are also mostly neighbourhood arrangements Integration in Africa in mostly seen as a bureaucratic process which involve government ministries and sometimes a few elite and academia yet it mostly affects the citizen. Regional integration can have both positive and negative effects. This study therefore analyses the role played by sport diplomacy in the process of Regional Integration in order to alleviate the social challenges of integration with a specific focus in the West African Community (WAC).The anti‐apartheid movement won an early, crucial victory when South Africa was suspended from FIFA in 1961, which kept the country out of international football until 1992. South Africa’s suspension was temporarily lifted in 1963 but re-imposed in 1964. South Africa was expelled from FIFA in 1976.View all notes The apartheid regime deployed sport diplomacy in an attempt to promote minor reforms intended to end international isolation. In the wake of South Africa’s expulsion from the Olympic movement in 1970, Prime Minister John Vorster announced a new ‘multinational’ sport policy: ‘Europeans’ and ‘non‐Europeans’ (i.e. Africans, Indians and Coloureds in apartheid language) would be allowed to compete against each other as individuals in the open ‘international events’ (the Olympic Games, the Davis Cup, and so on) but not permitted to participate in racially integrated South African national teams. ‘Non‐racial’ sport within South Africa, however, was not allowed at club, provincial or national levels.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Sport as a tool of diplomacy is the problem that this project sets out to investigate. The study proceeds on the assumption that sports play an important role in regional integration in Africa. However, to date the evidence available indicates that African countries have not fully exploited sports to achieve their interest and to build their political power and influence globally. With emergence of new issues and actors in 21st century international, the complexity of global environment of advancing national interest requires factoring in sports. In particular sports can and has been a useful tool of diplomacy that if well utilized can contribute to national prestige and image building of states. It is for this reason therefore that this study examines and analyses the extent to which sports has been used as soft power in Africa. It will be used to provide data on the role of sports in contributing to tangible outcomes in regional integration.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine sport diplomacy and regional integration. Other general objectives of the study are:
2. To examine the different forms/approaches of sport diplomacy and the challenges that may occur during their implementation.
3. To investigate how the various forms of sports diplomacy are utilized in the Integration.
4. To examine the roles of sport diplomacy in attaining national interests in foreign relations
5. To determine the relationship between sport diplomacy and regional integration.
6. To suggest ways in sports diplomacy can help in regional integration.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
2. What are the different forms/approaches of sport diplomacy and the challenges that may occur during their implementation?
3. How can the various forms of sports diplomacy be utilized in regional Integration?
4. What are the roles of sport diplomacy in attaining national interests in foreign relations?
5. What is the relationship between sport diplomacy and regional integration?
6. What are the ways in sports diplomacy can help in regional integration?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no effect of sport diplomacy on regional integration.
H1: There is a significant effect of sport diplomacy on regional integration.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
“Often governments and politicians use success on the international stage to improve their own ‘brands’ among their citizenry in order to gain legitimacy.” “Sport functions as an element in the globalization of culture, as a foreign policy resource and as an arena in which international relations can take place”. This is important in “the wider context because these concepts are important in how states perceive themselves domestically and how they are perceived abroad.” Therefore, “a picture of the modern diplomatic environment emerges by examining the benefits and controversies inherent to such partnerships of states, non-state actors and sports”. Therefore the findings of the study sports diplomacy regional integration is going to result to recommendations that can form the basis of improving or influence policies of Africa as a region and can advise other states and inform their policies.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on sport diplomacy and regional integration, case study of African cup of Nations, 2013-2018.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Sport:An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of acompetitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing.
Diplomacy: The conduct by government officials of negotiations and other relations between nations.
Regional: Relating to a particular region, district, area, or part, as of a country; sectional and local.
Integration: An act or instance of integrating a racial, religious, ethnic group, an organization, place of business, school, etc.
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