D-Day for East Africa Pamoja Bid as CAF vote for 2027 Africa Cup of Nations venue

© President William Ruto

D-Day for East Africa Pamoja Bid as CAF vote for 2027 Africa Cup of Nations venue

Festus Chuma 11:30 - 27.09.2023

D-Day arrives as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda's joint "Pamoja" bid awaits decision for hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.

D-Day is here as the East Africa Pamoja bid, a cooperative effort by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, awaits its fate regarding the hosting rights for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

The Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Executive Committee is set to cast their votes on Wednesday in Cairo, determining the hosts for both the 2025 and 2027 tournaments.

Morocco is widely expected to secure hosting rights for the 2025 finals, leaving the spotlight on the competitive bid for the 2027 edition. The  East Africa Pamoja bid faces stiff competition, going up against proposals from Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, Senegal, Egypt, and Botswana. Interestingly, Algeria, once a strong contender, unexpectedly withdrew from the race on Tuesday.

This significant announcement follows a series of changes to previously assigned hosting rights. Guinea had initially been selected to host the 2025 tournament but lagged considerably in their preparations, with crucial infrastructure and facilities neglected. Political instability further complicated the matter, leading CAF to retract Guinea’s hosting privileges.

In the race for 2027, the East Africa Pamoja bid presents a strong case, backed by significant investments and political support from all three participating countries. Kenya is in the process of constructing the Talanta Stadium, a football-only venue with a 50,000-seat capacity. Additionally, the Kasarani and Nyayo Stadiums are undergoing major renovations to meet international standards.

Tanzania boasts the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, which requires minimal updates to meet the hosting requirements. The Amani Stadium in Zanzibar is set to be ready by December, with additional 30,000-seat venues being developed in Arusha and Dodoma.

Uganda is not  far behind in terms of preparedness. The Nelson Mandela Stadium in Kampala and the Akii Abua Stadium in Lira are currently under renovation. Furthermore, there is a proposal for a new stadium in Hoima, further strengthening the Pamoja bid’s case.

Significantly, the bid has received endorsements from the heads of state of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, reflecting a high level of political goodwill and support. This tri-nation collaboration is evident in the bid's name, "Pamoja," which means "together" in Swahili, symbolizing unity and collective effort.

At the CAF headquarters in 6th October City, located on the outskirts of Cairo, there's a buzz regarding the East Africa Pamoja bid. Notable figures like FKF President Nick Mwendwa, Uganda FA president Moses Magogo, and Tanzania FA president Wallace Karia have been mentioned, underscoring the bid’s significance and the weight of expectation surrounding it.

As the momentous decision day arrives, each bidding nation will be allocated 10 minutes to present their case to the CAF Executive Committee. These presentations will be broadcasted on CAF’s media channels, allowing football fans across the continent and the world to witness the process and await the announcement with bated breath.

With the substantial preparations and political backing, the East Africa Pamoja bid is undeniably a strong contender in this race. The decision made on this crucial day will not only shape the future of football in the host nations but also leave an indelible mark on the sporting history of the African continent.