AFCON AFCON 2027: Pamoja bid must pick valuables from Ivory Coast tournament

The 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, also referred to as AFCON 2027 or CAN 2027, is scheduled to be the 36th edition of the biennial African football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football. It will be hosted by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in June and July 2027.

Looking back at the just concluded (AFCON 2023) whose curtains closed last week, we learn valuable lessons. The tournament held in Ivory Coast was a significant success. The country demonstrated its capability to host Africa’s biggest event in football event held every two years. The tournament contributed positively to the economy and social development of the country.

Preparations for the tournament were thorough and well-organized, with the Ivorian government investing heavily in infrastructure development, including four newly built stadiums, transportation systems, and accommodation facilities. The government also implemented security measures to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.

The tournament itself was highly competitive, with top African football teams participating. The Ivorian national team made it to the finals and won in a thrilling match with their West African counterparts Nigeria. The tournament brought the country together in a spirit of unity and celebration.

The AFCON tournament also had a significant impact on the economy of Ivory Coast. According to a report by the African Development Bank, the tournament generated over $1 billion in revenue for the country, with significant contributions from tourism, hospitality, and transportation sectors. The tournament also created employment opportunities for thousands of Ivorians, both directly and indirectly.
Furthermore, the AFCON tournament provided a platform for Ivory Coast to showcase its rich culture and history to the world.

The government organized various cultural events alongside the tournament, promoting Ivorian music, dance, food, and art. The tournament also highlighted the country’s progress in social development, particularly in areas such as education, healthcare, and women’s empowerment.

Focus Turns to Nairobi Kenya for 2027 Hosting

Following the successful hosting of AFCON 2024 by Ivory Coast, attention has now turned to Nairobi Kenya as they prepare to host the Pamoja AFCON 2027 with East African neighbors Tanzania and Uganda.
Kenya has previously hosted major international sports events such as the World Rally Championship and the World Athletics Championships.

However, hosting AFCON will be their most significant achievement yet in terms of sports event management. Preparations are already underway in Nairobi for AFCON 2027, with various infrastructure development projects ongoing. These include the upgrading of Moi International Sports Complex, Kasarani which the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports has closed for renovations, Nyayo National Stadium which is set for closure for repairs soon, and the commissioning of the Talanta Stadium along Ngong Road that will be a new facility.

For a successful hosting improvement of transportation systems, and accommodation facilities for participants and spectators will be key. The seamless movement of fans across the five hosting cities and towns in Abidjan, Bouaké, Korhogo, San-Pédro, and Yamoussoukro is a lesson for Kenya to learn and fix the transport system to enable the seamless movement of teams and fans.

These five regions spread the feel of football in Ivory Coast to six stadiums. Kenya needs to prepare as if it will be the sole host just in case one of our EAC brothers fails to meet the Confederation of African Football requirements and standards to host the tourney. Kenya needs to have at least six stadiums ready for the tournament because if one of the Pamoja hosts fails the tourney will be moved to another region.

As I congratulate the president Dr. William Ruto for his push to have the tournament hosted here, there are key things that we must address as we prepare for the 2027 tournament. The president has pledged its total support for these preparations and has committed significant resources towards ensuring their successful completion. Mr. President, some of these infrastructural projects including stadia need time to build if we were to learn from the Ivory Coast.

The West African nation took three years to have the stadium done and be ready for the tournament. Kenya and her neighbors have only two and a half years left. We should not take anything to chance. It’s time we have a multisectoral approach to these preparations so that we can achieve success.

Multisectoral Approach

Mr. President this is your baby and if its mother’s milk is not in sufficient supply then it’s time we supplemented it with Nan milk if we want success. Let us have a multisectoral committee bringing together the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Energy, the Executive Office of the President, Parliament (Senate and National Assembly), the Football Kenya Federation, renowned football stakeholders for meticulous planning, infrastructure development, and organizational readiness.

The passion exhibited by the Sports CS Hon. Ababu Namwamba cannot be understated. He should be the champion of this multisectoral approach.

Benefits of AFCON 2027

As we are all aware Nairobi’s hosting of AFCON 2027 is expected to bring numerous benefits to Kenya, including economic growth, job creation, cultural exchange, and social development. It will also provide an opportunity for Kenya to showcase its rich cultural heritage and promote tourism in the country.

AFCON is a prestigious football tournament that brings together the best national teams from across the continent. Kenya can indeed learn valuable lessons from the Ivory Coast on preparedness for hosting AFCON 2027. Kenya must prioritize infrastructure projects to meet the standards required for hosting a major sporting event like AFCON.

Logistical Planning is another crucial lesson Kenya can take from the Ivory Coast is the significance of logistical planning. Organizing a tournament of such magnitude involves coordinating various aspects such as security arrangements, ticketing systems, fan zones, media facilities, and more. Ivory Coast’s meticulous logistical planning ensured that the tournament ran smoothly and efficiently, providing a positive experience for both participants and spectators.

Engagement of the local communities in the run-up to the vent and during the event will be key. Ivory Coast was successful in the involvement of the local communities throughout the tournament. This is the time for Kibra, Huruma, Mukuru, Mathare, and Congo in Kawangware to benefit from this tourney.

This will foster a sense of unity and excitement around AFCON 2027. Involving local businesses, schools, and organizations can help create a vibrant atmosphere during the tournament and leave a lasting legacy in the country.

I would like to emphasize that the Ministry and the Presidency should prepare as if Kenya is the singular host. That way, we better prepare and have a better chance of hosting the whole event just in case any of our EAC brothers do not meet the CAF nod.

By Hon. Sam Nyamweya, MBS
Former FKF President

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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