Kenya are you watching? New-look Amahoro and Namboole stadiums show Rwanda & Uganda mean business

Kenya are you watching? New-look Amahoro and Namboole stadiums show Rwanda & Uganda mean business

Joel Omotto 19:36 - 23.02.2024

The Amahoro and Namboole stadiums in Kigali and Kampala respectively have been given a modern look that has left Kenyans wondering when their time will come.

Rwanda and Uganda are moving with speed to ensure their sporting facilities are in good condition with the two countries’ main stadium almost complete.

Pictures of the refurbished Amahoro Stadium in Kigali and Mandela National Stadium, popularly known as Namboole, in Kampala, have left Kenyans wondering when the country’s facilities will get such a look even as the government moves with speed to improve them ahead of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Amahoro Stadium in nearing completion after the Rwandan government decided to expand it from a 25,000 to 45,000-seater and give it a new face that will lift it to international standards.

Amaharo has been undergoing reconstruction for the last two years at a cost of $165m (Ksh24 billion) by Turkish firm Summa, and is set to be opened in July this year with a legends match that will see the likes of Brazil icon Ronaldinho feature in September.

The stadium has been given a completely new face with modern chairs in the blue, green and yellow flag of Rwanda while it has a modern pitch, tartan track, an overhead canopy, floodlights, giant screens among others.

Over in Uganda, the Namboole Stadium is also coming up well and it is expected to be ready in November this year, in what will be a big boost since it is the main facility that will host AFCON 2027 matches that the country will co-host with Kenya and Tanzania.

The Stadium, which has been getting a new face since 2021, already has a new modern pitch, seats and dressing room with the running track among other things yet to be finalised.

There is also a mode training pitch adjacent to the stadium. Uganda First Lady Janet Museveni, who is also the country’s Minister for Education and Sports, visited the stadium to assess its progress on Thursday and was thrilled by what she saw.

“Looking at Mandela Stadium is truly a blessing, and I have faith in our team's ability to complete the remaining tasks swiftly. With God's help and our collective efforts, I'm certain we'll see this project through and host sporting events in a stadium that we can all truly be proud of,” the First Lady said via a social media post.

Already, Africa Rugby has unanimously accepted Uganda's bid to host the 2024 and 2025 editions of Rugby Africa Cup at Namboole Stadium.

Kenya, meanwhile, closed Kasarani Stadium for renovation last December with work expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and there is hope that the facility will have a modern look upon its completion. Renovation work at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega has also commenced to give it a new look ahead of CHAN 2024 which Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will co-host in September.

The government has also announced plans to build a new 60,000-seater Talanta Stadium although it has not been decided whether it will be in Nairobi or Mombasa with its groundbreaking expected this year.

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