The Confederation of African Football (CAF), in partnership with the NGO Speak Up Africa, has launched an online challenge to raise awareness of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Africa.
The digital challenge entitled “#19KickUpsAgainstCovid19” is part of the Stay Safe Africa campaign, seeking to empower communities and individuals to take simple, established preventive measures to stay safe.
The challenge encourages people to share information online to help curb the spread of the virus across the continent.
Joining CAF Deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe in the challenge is Egyptian former national team skipper Ahmed Hassan, in addition to a number of other African football stars.
Influential players are nominating five people to participate in the challenge, by recording a video of them doing 19 kick ups. The videos are then shared on social media.
Baffoe noted that football brings together so many people from different backgrounds, nationalities and languages. He added that the CAF hopes this social media challenge will bring people together in the same way whilst working towards a good cause.
“Even though the football season has been put on hold, we must all continue to come together, with distance, and fight the spread of this disease and misinformation. I personally took part in the challenge, and I hope players and fans will engage and continue the chain,” he added.
Africa has reported over 157,000 confirmed coronavirus infection cases and over 4,000 deaths so far. There have been concerns that, due to the lack of access to effective health care among other problems, the virus could spread quickly across the continent.
Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa, expressed his appreciation for CAF’s influential players and members taking part in this exciting social media challenge. He also praised their efforts in raising awareness of the importance of protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus.
“Sport is a powerful tool to transform the continent, particularly when it comes to health initiatives,” Djibo said, “We encourage everyone to take part in this online challenge to raise awareness and incite positive change in health practices and behaviour.”
The Stay Safe Africa campaign was launched by Dakar-based advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, a strategic communications and advocacy organisation. It aims to save lives and protect Africans against the virus by bring together partners, increase investments and raise awareness.