Rwanda has opened the much-anticipated Kigali Arena, one of Africa’s largest indoor stadia that will host major regional and international sports events, including the continent’s biggest basketball meet – the
2021 FIBA Africa Basketball Championships.
The 10,000-seat facility, located next to Amahoro National Stadium, Remera, will host sports such as basketball and tennis, as well as concerts and conferences. It was completed on 5 July, and is awaiting an inauguration date from the Rwandan government. It will gain continent-wide exposure when it hosts the 2021 African Basketball Championship.
The project began in January and it was a joint venture between the Rwandan government and Turkish Investment Company, Summa. Work on it was overseen by the Rwandan Housing Authority.
Summa, has a history of delivering fast-track international projects. In 2016, it took over and delivered the troubled Kigali Congress Centre in 11 months, and the 35,000 sq m Dakar Arena in Senegal in less than a year.
The Kigali venue, which will be the biggest of its kind in East Africa, contains 13 cafes and bars, a restaurants, six changing rooms a fitness centre, a media hall, and a modern doping control room.
The new basketball arena, which was constructed as part of efforts to expand the country’s sports infrastructure, is also expected to host the 2020 NBA Africa league , as well as, the 2019 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship for girls in August this year, reports KT Press.
“Kigali Arena presents a big opportunity to attract international basketball tournaments, and that would position Rwanda as the leading sport tourism destination in the region.
“Our players will have a chance to access a high-standard facility, and that will – in many ways – improve their knowledge and skills in the sport,” said Pascale Mugwaneza, the Vice-President of Rwanda Basketball Federation.