Enablers visit, assess Hoima stadium construction site

Sports State Minister, Mr Peter Ogwang (in the middle with a hat); the Hoima City Mayor, Mr Brian Kaboyo; contractors and FUFA members inspect the land on which a stadium will be constructed at Kyarwiru Cell in East Division, Hoima City today (Wednesday), January 24, 2024. (Image: Samuel Baguma/Kazi-njema News)

Enablers for the construction of a stadium in Hoima have today visited the site to assess its topography so that work can commence in preparation for hosting some games of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) come 2027.

The team included those from Summa International Co. Inc.  – a Turkish firm that the government of Uganda contracted to construct the stadium, officials from the Ministry of Education and Sport and those from the Federation of Football Associations of Uganda (FUFA).

Speaking during the meeting at the site in Kyarwiru cell, East Division, Hoima city, the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang, said that construction work that is set to commence this year is projected to be fully complete by December 31, 2025 as per the ultimatum put by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) – the body that governs the African football.

He said that the government of Uganda is optimistic that MS Summa will deliver to the country’s expectations since it has constructed numerous state-of-the-art stadia in more than 180 countries including Amahoro stadium in Rwanda and another in Dakar, Senegal.

“We need an international firm that can be able to do the work in the timeframe goven by CAF and we identified MS Suma which has the capacity and it has so far worked in different countries including the neighbouring Rwanda,” Mr Ogwang said.

The minister disclosed that it is the wish of the government for the facility to be a 20,000-seater stadium although it will depend on the contractors’ plan to beat the completion timeframe so that Uganda can also ably host the AFCON 2027 like Kenya and Tanzania – her co-host East African countries in the arrangement dubbed “Pamoja bid.”

Mr Ogwang added that the ministry is looking forward to constructing two training grounds in the same stadium besides planning to upgrade boma sports grounds in Hoima city and Masindi stadium in Masindi municipality.

Audio: Ogwang on stadium construction (English)

The minister challenged the people of Bunyoro to target the stadium by investing state-of-the-art hotels in order to benefit from the facility and the AFCON tournament that will be held in 2027 as well as enjoying the benefits that will come with the stadium.

Audio: Ogwang on investing in hotels (English)

Moses Magogo, the FUFA President, said that the government considered constructing the stadium in Hoima city following the already existing international facilities like Kabaleega International Airport in Hoima district to which Hoima city is so near.

Kabaleega International Airport is Uganda’s second largest next to Entebbe.

Magogo told journalists that the team from FUFA and Ministry of Education and Sports and the contractor decided to visit the site to assess the area topography and the size to enable them draw a physical plan and design of the stadium whose completion is expected to be in the next 18 months.

He urged the host communities to cooperate with the contractor.

Audio: Magogo on stadium construction (English)

The Bugahya County Member of Parliament in Hoima district whose family donated part of the piece of land on which to construct the stadium, Pius Wakabi, urged FUFA and the contractor to at least consider local sub-contractors and local content in the construction work of the stadium.

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