African Cup of Nations | Never-ending power supply

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Pascal Feindouno after his goal. Link to UN IRIN article on power cuts.Conakry, Guinea | With its 3–0 defeat of Tunisia today in the African Cup of Nations, Guinea advances to the final eight as the undefeated winner of Group C. During this surprising run of supremacy, the state-operated power concern, Guinea Electricity, has discovered the importance of maintaining the power grid.

Following Guinea’s first-round defeat of South Africa, one man died in Matam as the result of rioting precipitated by power failures during the match. The company assured customers that power would be sustained during subsequent encounters and for two hours afterward.

Many homes in Conakry, according to the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, lack access to electricity mains, requiring ad hoc connections, with residents “lash[ing] cables to power lines to light their homes and small businesses for free.” Passions prompted the Conakry governor, Sory Bioubate, to ask supporters to tone down celebrations before the next match against Zambia, with some reports of looting: “We hope that our national team will win the 2006 African Nations’ Cup, but that is not to say that we must kill each other.”

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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  1. Brian says:

    Having lived in Guinea myself, I can tell you that electricity is indeed spotty, even in the capital Conakry, despite the country’s huge hydroelectric potential.

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