AFCON 2022 Organisation: Urgency To Accelerate Infrastructure Works

Focus is on sports and hotel infrastructure in the cities of Garoua and Bafoussam, Olembe Sports Complex in Yaounde and the East Entrance into the City of Douala.

In almost nine months to Cameroon’s hosting of the African Football Cup of Nations Competition (AFCON)  in January 2022, the Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute has instructed all stakeholders to do everything possible  to sought out difficulties noticed in terms of sports infrastructure and roads that have to be improved on and maintained  and needed money for works to be calculated and presented to the Minister of Finance. The Coordinator of the Operational Unit of National Committee Tasked with Preparing the 2022 African Football Cup of Nations Competitions, (COMIP-CAN)  Ewane François Felix disclosed the instructions to the press on  April 13, 2021 after its in-camera 29th session  chaired by Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute at the auditorium of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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The Minister of State, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Bello Bouba Maigari presented progress of construction and rehabilitation of hotel infrastructure selected for 2022 AFCON in Bafoussam and Garoua cities. Summing up of the level of preparedness of the hotels, he said, the teams from the ministry need to put pressure on enterprises executing  works on one or two hotels in the two cities  and stated that everything is being done to ensure an efficient organisation of AFCON 2022. He said generally, Cameroon has to abide by the exigencies of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) taken within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in which each competing team has 10 additional players.

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As for lodging, he disclosed that each competing delegation needs a minimum of 57 hotel rooms. The situation of each selected hotel was presented and in the two hotels where work had stopped, their replacement was envisaged, while work needs to be  accelerated in the others to get them ready in time.

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Concerning updates on the construction and rehabilitation of competition stadiums and training grounds at the Bafoussam, Garoua and Yaounde-Olembe sites in view of 2022 AFCON, the Coordinator of the Operational Technical Unit  of COMIP-CAN, Ewane François  Felix   said that after the African Football Championship (CHAN) that Cameroon organised from January 16 to February 7, 2021, they carried out field visits and noted some shortcomings here and there. He said there is need to upgrade the infrastructure  so as to correct all shortcomings, as  stadia have to be maintained so that they can be in a better shape for the competition. He  also pointed out repair works, water and power supply, telecommunications and internet connections.

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Concerning the Olembe Sports Complex, he disclosed that progress of work carried  out by MAGIL  company is 70 per cent. Work in the main stadium is 90 per cent done and 80 per cent at the two training stadiums. For all the sports infrastructure projects, he said no real hustling is noticed on the field and stressed the need for all conditions to be put in place for the projects to be completed in time and adequate repairs and maintenance done.

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Public Works Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi presented updates on the construction works at the East Entrance of Douala.

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