Today, the 2011 CAF Under-17 Championship gets underway, in Rwanda, marking the first time an East African nation has hosted the continental sporting event since it began in 1995. Eight top African teams will be competing in the two-week long tournament, organized by the Confederation of African Football and Rwanda’s football governing body, FERWAFA and is expected to draw large numbers of visitors from across the continent.
That Rwanda was selected to host this prestigious tournament is proof of the growing trust that the country enjoys.
Hosting such a tournament necessitates high-quality stadiums and hotels for visiting teams, good quality urban transport links, and political stability with no threat of unrest to upset the games – all characteristic of Rwanda.
Hosting the tournament offers an opportunity to reappraise the country’s progress and critically examine the prospects for hosting other events of even bigger magnitude.
Skeptics have always contended that Rwanda cannot do it. Be it recovering from the destruction of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to fighting poverty. But the country’s remarkable achievements have proven them wrong.
Rwanda, should be commended for the tournament’s impeccable preparations, and with everything in place, the Rwandan people should be rightly proud of their achievements.
May the best team win.