First and foremost, on my behalf and the entire African football family, I present my best wishes for the year 2017 to everyone present here, and to all those watching on TV.
The year 2017 is so particular and symbolic for African Football and the Confederation Africaine de Football, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary.
It is a singular occasion to take stock of what has been done since 8 February 1957, when CAF was formed.
Moreover, the year 2017 starts a new cycle in the marketing of the commercialisation and media rights of our competitions, with the premiums paid to the participating teams, in some cases multiplied by three or more.
These considerable and undeniable strides constitute a concretisation of our continuously reaffirmed willingness to work unrelentlessly for the emancipation of the youth of Africa by way of the development football everywhere in Africa.
All that we have achieved till this point would not have been possible without the support of partners, which we hope to increase in numbers, to meet the numerous expectations.
The new partners which we are inviting to join us, would have to draw inspiration from an example as that of Mike Adenuga, the founder of Globacom, to whom I will forever be grateful for his multi-facetted support to the development of football in Africa.
The sponsoring of the CAF Awards is just one action among many others. But the latter offers a platform for competitiveness where we come to celebrate excellence and the talents of these young men and women who are positively distinguishing themselves by practicing a passion that we commonly share – football.
Long live African football!