IN ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia began working on the second and final phase of its national stadium in Addis Ababa.
The first phase of the new Adey Abeba Stadium, which commenced three years ago, was finished a couple of months ago.
Chinese State Construction Engineering Corporation is building the 62,000- seater stadium to international standards. Ethiopia’s Engineering Corporation designed the project.
The remaining phase of the project began on Thursday. Various sports stakeholders including athletics legend Derartu Tulu, who is the first Vice President of Ethiopian Athletics Federation were present on site.
Roofing, fitting seats, making the pitch and track, building the sewerage system, parking lots and other works are expected to be complete in 900 days.
“This huge eight billion Ethiopian Birr ($250,000,000) (Sh26,925,000,000) stadium project shows the commitment of our government to the sports sector. We will not stop here; we will also we finish dozens of our newly built stadiums all over the country,” said Elias Shikur, Ethiopia’s Sport Commission Commissioner at Saturday’s ceremony.
“We have the commitment and the will to see this project completed on time. It will be closely be supervised to make sure it meets the standards we set on the designs.”
GOOD NEWS FOR SPORTS
Even though Ethiopia has a dozen newly built mega stadiums across the country, not a single one meets international standards. Therefore the facilities cannot host world football governing body (Fifa) or Confederation of African Football (Caf ) matches, except for Bahir Dar Stadium, which serves as the only venue for international competitions, has received firm warning from the continental football governing body Caf.
Therefore, the assurance by the commissioner that a number of stadiums will be finished in time is good news for Ethiopian sport.