The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: 40,000 Seater Stadium Planned in Kicukiro

Government, in partnership with a yet to be identified investor, is mooting a proposal that will see the construction of a 40,000 seater stadium in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district.

The new stadium is a requirement for the hosting of the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan).

In an exclusive interview with Times Sport, The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Edward Kalisa, said, "We have met two potential investors who are willing to fund the construction works."

"We have identified and chosen one company and requested them to submit their financial and technical proposals such that we can come to an agreement and sign a contract. They have until March to do so,"

There are two options on the table. The first option is the investor to foot the whole budget for the construction works as well as oversee the stadium management, while the other option is the government and investor contributing equally to the construction of the stadium as well as share roles in the management.

The stadium will cost between $40 million to $60 million, according to Kalisa. The construction works will last 18 months.

The official also said that several exixting stadiums, including Amahoro, Nyamirambo and Rubavu will be expanded so as to meet the standards that are yet to be communicated by the Confederation of African Football [CAF].

But Kalisa is also anticipating to have Muhanga and Huye Stadia host the tournament since most of the work that is being done at the two stadia will wind up mid this year.

Government is yet to confirm the exact budget that will be incurred in hosting the tournament.

"In a few months time, we hope to sit with CAF and determine what is expected from us and then from the CAF's side and this is when we will know the exact amount needed to cover the hosting of the entire tournament," explained the PS.

"We are on schedule and we hope to have gotten the most urgent necessities before the end of the year."

Rwanda was picked to host the prestigious event after deliberations by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) held in Lubumbashi, DR Congo in 2011.

Rwanda was endorsed to host the 2016 CHAN edition after the country staged two successful youth continental tournaments in a space of three years, including the 2009 U-20 Africa youth championship as well as the U-17 championship in 2011.

This year, Amavubi are bidding to qualify for next year's edition which will be held in South Africa.

Amavubi Stars will start their campaign in the first round facing the winner between Eritrea and Ethiopia in June this year.

Chan is a competition reserved for African players featuring in their respective domestic leagues. Democratic Republic of Congo won the inaugural tournament in Cote d'Ivoire in 2009, while Tunisia won the 2011 edition in Sudan.

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