Pamoja Bid: A Breath of Life to East African Sports

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On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the three East African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, taped into waves of excitement when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awarded the trio hosting rights for the 2027 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Following the announcement by CAF, government stakeholders from the three nations revealed their next moves in preparation for the AFCON tournament, some of which included the construction of new stadiums and renovation of the already exciting ones, among others.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu instructed the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports to ensure two high-quality modern stadiums in Arusha and Dodoma.

“I instruct the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports to ensure we make good preparations, including the completion on time and with high quality of two new modern stadiums in Arusha and Dodoma,” President Suluhu said.

While addressing Kenyans at the Nairobi show grounds during the official opening of the 2023 A.S.K. Nairobi international trade fair, President William Ruto said that Kenya, in collaboration with Uganda and Tanzania, would deliver a classic football event in 2027.

He added that they will make sure that they mobilise every sector and every person to make sure that they deliver as expected.

“We will make sure that whatever infrastructural facilities are required will be made available to make sure we move Kenya to the next level in our sports industry,” Ruto said.

Ruto’s Ugandan counterpart, President YK. Museveni, has commended his peers, President William Ruto and Suluhu Samia, for promptly agreeing to bid for the hosting with Uganda.

“In particular, I congratulate and thank their Excellencies Suluhu and William Ruto for promptly agreeing to bid for the hosting with us. Commonsense showed even the assessors, and I am sure that the Pan-African efforts were, logically, the most attractive, apart from any other considerations. We can only benefit more if we extend this logic to other areas. Also, pooling together the sports infrastructure, like stadiums, made our bid more attractive,” President Museveni said.

According to Magogo Moses, the FUFA President, Uganda is expected to construct the Akii Bua stadium in Lira as well as the Buhinga stadium in Hoima, with proposals for the construction already finalized. The country has also presented several other venues, including Nakivubo Stadium, as support facilities for the tournament.

Sports analysts have stated that hosting rights for the 2027 AFCON is the first of many steps to improve the standards of football in the three East African nations.

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