Rwanda inaugurated a new events and indoor sports facility Friday that was constructed by
Turkish construction company Summa.
The record six-month construction boast a multi-purpose facility in Kigali that is arguably among the top 10 largest indoor venues in Africa and the biggest in the Eastern Africa region.
The state-of-the-art 10,000-seat complex will host major sporting and cultural events, including basketball, tennis and volleyball as well as conferences, meetings and concerts, according to the Rwandan Sports Ministry.
Chief Technical Officer for the project, Ugur Murat Altun, told the media ahead of Friday’s launch that construction was completed July 5 after starting Jan. 18.
President Paul Kagame inaugurated the facility and commended the Turkish contractor for completing the project in record time without compromising quality.
“I want to thank those who built this arena, Summa Company of Turkey, who built this arena in only six months. They worked day and night. And that is how we should all learn to work: fast and producing quality,” said Kagame.
He also commended the President of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri who reportedly brought the idea of developing basketball to Africa and advanced it with the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver.
The Rwandan leader noted the new facility should not just be a decoration in the city because it was built to host the best basketball players in Rwanda and Africa- to train, play and win games.
The complex sits on 301,00 square feet (28,000 square meters) with a parking lot for more than 600 vehicles.
It features 13 eateries, six changing rooms, a fitness center, a media hall and a doping control room.
“This is a great asset to Rwanda’s sports,” basketball enthusiast Jonah Munyagishari told Anadolu Agency. “Rwandans, especially youth, should take advantage of this facility to develop their sports talents.”
The construction of the area offered jobs to 1,700 workers, 70 percent were Rwandans and the rest from Turkey, according to the country’s sports authority.
The arena is scheduled to host the 2021 FIBA Men’s Africa Basketball Championship.
CENTER FOR AFRICAN STUDIES
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