Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the 2010 World Cup, is seeking a seat on the Fifa executive committee.
The all-powerful executive committee decides, among other things, where future World Cups will be played.
The 59-year-old South African has been nominated by his country for the post when elections take place next year.
"The World Cup profile is a big help," said Jordaan, who intends to start lobbying across the continent in the next few months.
He added: "It is important for me that Africa feels I can make a contribution."
Two of Africa's four positions on the Fifa executive committee come up for re-election in February.
One of them is held by Nigerian Amos Adamu, who has been provisionally suspended by the world body pending the outcome of an investigation into corruption allegations against him.
The other African berth up for re-election is held by Jacques Anouma, president of the Ivorian Football Federation, who has not yet made public whether he will seek another four-year term.
Adamu is expected to try to hold on to his post if he is not expelled by Fifa, whose ethics committee will decide on his future this month.
Nominations for the posts close on 23 November, three months before the election at the Confederation of African Football congress in Khartoum, Sudan.
Jordaan is the first to make his candidacy public.
His experience in football administration, dating back more than two decades, and the successful organising of the World Cup will be key parts of his election campaign.
Jordaan said he had had a surge of support from African football associations and says he is confident of winning a place on the Fifa executive as well as the Caf executive.
Traditionally, administrators seeking to work their way up to the Fifa committee serve time first as members of the Caf executive, but Jordaan is attempting both at the same time.
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