14 March 2019

Tanzania: Dodoma Arena to Sit 100,000 Fans

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday held talks with a team of experts from Morocco, who are in charge of the construction of the mega stadium in Dodoma to accommodate at least 100,000 fans.

The meeting was held at the State House in Dar es Salaam, in which a delegation from Morocco was led by Morocco Ambassador to Tanzania, Abdelilah B enryane.

Ambassador B enryane said apart from dwelling on the cordial relations between the two countries, they also discussed implementations of various projects signed during Moroccan King Mohamed VI's visit in the country in October, 2016.

The projects, which are funded by Moroccan King Mohammed VI, include construction of the Tanzania Muslim Council, B AKWATA Mosque and the construction of the new arena in Dodoma.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads), Patrick Mfugale, the proposed mega stadium to be constructed at Nanenane area, along Dodoma-Morogoro highway in the capital city, is set to accommodate a normal capacity of 85,000 to 100,005 spectators.

Mfugale said logistics for the construction of the state-ofthe- art venue, whose design replicates imposing Mount Kilimanjaro are well underway. " From the outside, the venue will resemble an iconic Mount Kilimanjaro.

The arena is also strategically located close to the Dodoma-Morogoro highway and will be visible to all passersby," he said, adding that there will be ring roads around the venue and it will also be close to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network.

Recently, President Magufuli said the government was making good progress ready to start construction of the biggest stadium in the country.

During his visit in the country in October, 2016, King Mohamed VI of Morocco pledged to build an ultra-modern stadium in Dodoma. In his visit, dozens of Morocco companies inked agreements with major players of Tanzanian private sector, including the newly planned sports venue, which the president said it will be the largest in the country.

The arrival of the modern stadium complex in the country's capital coincides with government push for massive transfer of people and services from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

The new stadium will cost between 80 and 100 million US dollars (about 200bn/-). It will be bigger and better than the current National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, which had cost about 56bn/-.

The National Stadium was largely financed by the Chinese government, with the Tanzania government also footing some costs.

President Magufuli said construction of the new sports complex will help improve the whole sport sector, notably soccer in the region.

The arrival of the modern venue will also enable the country to be in a better position to bid for hosting major continental and world events such as Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, Africa Nations Champions for home based players (CHAN) finals as well as other top athletics events such as All African Games and World Athletics championships.

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