Namwamba on AFCON 2027: We want to put a show Africa has never seen
Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba has promised an incredible Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 2027.
Dubbed the Pamoja Bid, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania secured the rights to host the 36th continental competition.
Namwamba, who was in Cairo, Egypt, when CAF announced the East African successful bid, has now promised that the tournament will be like no other.
"We have to make sure that all aspects of hosting this tournament - travel, hospitality, security, and healthcare - are all in place. We want to put on a show Africa has never seen," Namwamba told the media.
Although doubts about infrastructural readiness still linger, the former Budalangi Member of Parliament promised that the work to improve them will be hastened in order to be ready in record time for AFCON.
"The immediate task is to start rolling. Let me say that our task has been made a lot easier because we have the firm support of the top leadership in our three countries.
"After the celebration, we have to get down to work since we have an incredible task to complete very ambitious infrastructure porgrammes.
"We have new stadiums to build, and in Kenya, we have the new Talanta Stadium project, which is a 50,000-capacity football-customized stadium.
"With the top leadership, we should be ready in time. We want to deliver an incredible tournament in 2027," he added.
Showcasing East Africa
The CS went ahead to explain why it is very crucial that the biennial tournament, whose 2025 edition will be hosted in Morocco, be held in East Africa.
"First of all, it needs to be appreciated that East Africa is the best example of pan-African integration because this is one region where 300 million people speak largely the same language, Swahili, use the same currency, the shilling, and we even have a single passport, the East African passport, that makes it easy for the free movement of people and services.
"This tournament, co-hosted by the founding members of the East Africa Community, helps to strengthen the East African integration agenda.
"This sends a strong message that East Africa can do things together. This is also a very important opportunity to showcase that East Africa is a great place with great touristic features like Kilimanjaro, Mt. Elgon, Serengeti, Mau, and the coastline," he added.
Namwamba challenged local footballers to grab the chance and develop themselves with the opportunity that comes when East Africa hosts the continent.
"It is a beautiful place, whichever way you look at it. It is the best opportunity to welcome Africa and the whole world to this amazing place called East Africa.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for young talents to come to the forefront and grow up in the game in the East African region.
"The most important thing is that the game has a chance to grow to the very top in East Africa. It has been a long time since this competition started, like 60 years ago, and it has never been hosted in the East African region," he added.