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Arsenal's Adebayor wants to be African hero

Arsenal ace Emmanuel Adebayor wants to be an inspirational figure for African youth after being named BBC's African Footballer of the Year.

The 24-year-old is embarking on what he calls a 'journey of hope' which he hopes will help disadvantaged youngsters in Africa.

"My thanks to all those who took the trouble to cast their votes to make me the BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2007," said Adebayor. "With this tour I plan to become an agent of hope and positive change in the lives of millions of disenfranchised youths in Africa.

"I am a true son of Africa which is why I felt it important to take the BBC award back to the continent so I can share my success with them. At the same time I hope to help young people receive the necessary attention, guidance and assistance that will empower and help them to fulfil their potential as productive citizens of Africa."

Togo international Adebayor will receive his BBC award from his country's President, Faure Gnassingbe, in a special ceremony in Lome.

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