Rwanda: Will impressive national stadium be handed over before planned?

source: The New Times; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

Rwanda: Will impressive national stadium be handed over before planned? Rwandans have long dreamt of such a stadium, and dreams are coming true.The reform of the Stade Amahoro, which will completely change its appearance, is in full swing. It won't be long before the arena, which could be the envy of many European countries, will once again host crowds.


European-American stadium the best in Africa?

On 31 August 2022, work began, carried out by the Turkish company SUMMA and supported by local constructors.They started to dismantle the old 25,000 capacity facility to create on its skeleton structure a cutting-edge project - a stadium for 45,000 people, which many good European clubs can envy.

Interestingly, as reported by Rwanda's The New Times, the new Stade Amahoro is to be open 24 hours a day, all year round, and will be an ultra-modern sports and entertainment centre with shops, bars and restaurants. In addition to the main pitch, which will be an arena for football and rugby, a Petit Stade is also being built, where volleyball and basketball matches will be played, as well as a Paralympic zone, car park and roads.

Design of Stade Amahoro© Gasabo 3D | Desigh of Stade Amahoro

Modernity and safety hallmark

As engineer Jean Claude Niyonzima points out, the most important thing is, of course, to meet FIFA standards in order to obtain the required certificates. However, the contractors are also not forgetting the requirements of other federations, such as athletics, hence the full-size running track surrounding the pitch. All indications are that the Rwandan authorities are hoping to host not only matches or concerts, but also international sporting events at Amahoro.

The new stadium is going to be not only modern, but also safe. By placing the foundations 10 metres underground and using 1,500 columns, earthquakes should pose no threat to either the spectators or the structure of the venue. Another interesting fact is that the turf consists of 70% artificial and 30% natural grass, so it will be able to be used more often.

Will Amahoro Stadium be delivered ahead of schedule?

Engineer Jean Claude Niyonzima also specified that 85% of the work on the arena is already complete.The turf is ready, the green-yellow-blue stands in the colours of Rwanda are ready, as is the canopy protecting them from the rain. What remains is the finishing work and the infrastructure around the stadium.

The Rwandan national team, currently ranked 133rd by FIFA, is due to play its 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Lesotho already at Amahoro. This means that the venue will be at least conditionally approved on June 10. The total cost will close in on around $170 million.

A stadium for this money built in only two years is no small thing. Many clubs on the Old Continent would be willing to pay for such an arena, built without delays or cost-cutting during the works. Let's hope it witnesses many beautiful matches, parties and events.

Construction od Stade Amahoro© Summa Construction Inc. | Construction of Stade Amahoro

Difficult history, changed face and enthusiasm

Rwanda has undergone tremendous changes in recent history, one of which is precisely the Stade Amahoro in Kigali, which 30 years ago witnessed the 1994 genocide perpetrated by the Hutu tribe against the Tutsis. At the time, 12,000 civilians took refuge at the UN force-controlled facility. The bodies of those who did not manage to take shelter laid on the road to the national stadium.

Three decades after these tragic events, which are still vivid in the memory of Rwandans, the new stadium will become the national pride of a country still struggling with economic, political and social challenges. The new facility, local media write, is proof that the country is moving in the right direction.

Stade Amahoro before the construction© Frank Jasperneite | Stade Amahoro before the construction