BABILAKS construction limited, a Turkish company under the Babil group of companies is set to spend an estimated $150m (about Rwf1.2 trillion) on a state-of -the art sports village comprising a 40,000 seater stadium in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro District.
The development was confirmed recently by Babil Group head of international development Mustafa Cem Ozdemir.
According to Mustafa, the Sports Village will include an 8-hectare football stadium, a 4-star hotel with 200 rooms, an Olympic-size swimming pool and an amusement Park among others.
“We are working on a bigger project, it’s not only the stadium but there are many facilities which will be offered by this village. This is going to be a modern village, the first of its kind in Africa which will open this country to other parts of the world,” said Ozdemir.
Ozdemir revealed that once the project is complete, Rwanda will be able to attract international conferences, concerts and training camps for international football teams.
“We want to offer a platform for Rwandans to train with the help of world class facilities. Rwanda has potential to shine at world stage but players or athletes need to train harder and in world class facilities in order to achieve that success,” he explained.
With all the activities expected on this village, Mustafa said, “We expect to spend between $130m to $150m on the entire project.
Progress on CHAN stadium
Mustafa also confirmed that construction of the 40-000 seater-stadium will begin in late November or early December and will take 24 months. He said the stadium will be ready by November 2015.
“Ideally the stadium will be complete in 20 months and another four months will be used to test the installation and other basics at the stadium before being handed over to our stakeholders,” he noted.
He revealed that what is remaining is exploration which will be done by the government such that Babil group can start work on the set land.
The new stadium is a requirement for the hosting of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN). In addition to Gahanga Sports Village, five stadia across the country will also be used to host the 2016 Africa Nations Championship [CHAN] finals.
They include; Amahoro stadium, Stade de Kigali, Stade de Rubavu and Stade de Muhanga.
According to Mustafa, Babil group will bring 50 foreign experts in engineering and technology but over 300 Rwandans stand to get employed in the construction of this village.
Expropriation of Gahanga residents
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Edward Kalisa confirmed that plans to compensate affected residents in Gahanga, Kicukiro district are on course and what remains is paying them off.
“Evaluation of the residents’ properties was carried out and the outcome was communicated to the Ministry of finance which will pay off the total of close to Rwf2billion. We expect the payments to be done soon before the government and Babil group sign a final contract which will pave way for the construction of the Sports Village,” said Kalisa.
Rwanda was picked to host the prestigious event after deliberations by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) held in Lubumbashi, DR Congo in 2011.
Rwanda was endorsed to host the 2016 CHAN edition after the country staged two successful youth continental tournaments in a space of three years, including the 2009 U-20 Africa Youth Championships as well as the U-17 Championship in 2011.
Amavubi Stars will start their campaign in the first round facing the winner between Eritrea and Ethiopia in June this year.