President Hage Geingob and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi reaffirmed their unwavering commitment toward the two countries’ anticipated bid to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, saying both governments remain well on course to unveil an unrivalled bid.
The two heads of state met on the sidelines of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting that took place in Kigali, Rwanda, where various developmental issues of mutual concern were discussed, including the joint bid for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
On his part, president Geingob expressed happiness with the work being done by the joint working committees from both countries, saying co-hosting the 2027 Afcon is enjoying great priority, as it will unlock numerous opportunities for the people of Botswana and Namibia.
The two countries have christened their bid for the 2027 continental football showpiece ‘BONA 2027’, and the working and technical committees on both sides have already rolled up their sleeves in a quest to have the bid perfectly packaged well ahead of time.
“We have committed ourselves to the project and other issues, and that’s what I like – always consulting each other. We have endorsed it, so we should just keep it going,” said Geingob, as he briefly commented on the 2027 Afcon bid before proceeding to touch on other issues that were also discussed on the margins.
Masisi echoed Geingob, saying he recently met with his sports minister Tumiso Rakgare and was briefed on the work done so far around the joint bid with the help of his Namibian counterpart Agnes Tjongarero.
“Since both governments have committed to co-hosting the 2027 Afcon, I just wanted to publicly say thank you to you and your government for joining hands to ensure our joint bid becomes a success. From my end, I can assure you that we will do everything to make sure the bid is perfect and a success.
“We, as Botswana, are busy formulating our next development plan, and all things that will be required for co-hosting the 2027 Afcon will be included in that plan. The required infrastructure and all other things will be included in our development plans for the coming years,” said Masisi.
Meanwhile, the Namibian government has already put its shoulder to the wheel by committing N$50 million towards the first phase of upgrading the Windhoek Independence stadium.
The upgrades will include installing hundreds of individual seats across the whole stadium – and not only in the VIP sections as is currently the case, and also renovating and upgrading media rooms, teams’ locker rooms, toilets, showers and electrical works, among others.
The stadium will also have its capacity increased to 45 000 seats, and will boast all modern-day facilities as required by both Caf and Fifa. This stadium currently has a holding capacity of 25 000.
Also, as part of its BONA 2027 plans, Namibia has included the coastal town of Swakopmund as the second host city if both countries’ bid does succeed.
Swakopmund’s Vineta stadium will be upgraded to 15 000-capacity stadia. It currently has a holding capacity of 10 000.
Namibia and Botswana are joined in the race for the 2027 Afcon by other nations such as Tanzania, Senegal and Burkina Faso.