Botswana and Namibia have intensified their efforts towards hosting a joint 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament after a recent completion of facilities audit in Botswana which lasted for a period of two weeks.
When addressing the media this week, BONA 2027 Chairman Ashford Mamelodi indicated that even though the bid for Africa’s high profile football tournament has not been opened, the two nations are working on submitting a bid book to the Confederation of African football (CAF).
“In terms of standing arrangements between the two governments, Windhoek will host the opening game and Gaborone the final game in 2027 and we are obviously not stopping to dream,” said Mamelodi.
Mamelodi stated that the auditing of facilities in Botswana went well even though he is yet to see the report.
“We still have to see the report and it was undertaken by Reuben Reddy architects consulting company from South Africa and it started on the 30th of January 2023 and they visited among others Gaborone, Lobatse, Francistown and Maun including of course looking closely at the Airports,” said Mamelodi.
He further said the last event was in Kasane last week Monday adding that the consultant also consulted with various stakeholders including Botswana Tourism Organization, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, Ministry of Health, Department of Information and Broadcasting, Department of ICT and the Botswana Power Corporation.
“In Botswana we are simply waiting for the report while in Namibia, last week myself and Head of Secretariat Geoffrey Gare visited Windhoek and we have a meeting on Thursday and I can tell you that a team from Reuben Reddy is about to arrive in to Windhoek carry out an audit,” added Mamelodi.
He said even though they serve the two governments it should also be noted that they serve the two Associations hence regular interactions.
“We are expecting the audit facility report around mid-March and it should be noted that there is no time,” said Mamelodi.
Mamelodi also said they intend to secure a lead consultant for the bid book in the not so distant future owing to time constraint.
“The Bid committee has also resolved to immediately procure lead consultant for the bid book and our procurement entity being the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has already been instructed to do that,” said Mamelodi.
He stated that they are also hoping to submit the bid book around May this year.
“We are expecting the bid to be submitted in May and we hope that it will not be late,” said Mamelodi.
He also spoke highly of the engaged consultancy company saying that it has a proven track record having worked with international football body FIFA.
Meanwhile BNSC Chief Executive Officer who is also part of the BONA committee, Tuelo Serufho said they are also working tirelessly to ensure that facilities remain ready.
“We have requested for an additional P8 million to renovate Obed Itani Chilume stadium in Francistown because we want it to be ready to host AFCON matches as early as end of this year,” said Serufho.
Late last year the bid committee concluded the procurement process report which mainly provides cost projections of hosting the 36th edition of the cup. The committee concluded the report during their fourth in person meeting that was convened in Windhoek, Namibia on the 21st of November 2022 as way to map forward preparation for the African showpiece.