AFCON 2027, golden opportunity

DAR ES SALAAM: HOSTING the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals will massively benefit Tanzania as noted by economists and sports stakeholders, who see it as a golden opportunity.

Along with creating billions of shillings through direct economic impact, a sizable number of direct and indirect jobs and above all, a return on investment, the value the sports period is going to create will be very important to our economy, which is supported by the government.

One of the reputable economists, Hilderbrand Shayo believes hosting the AFCON finals in 2027 will promote Tanzania and its tourist attractions on an international scale, which will improve our name worldwide.

The ticket to host the finals, according to Shayo, has a clear indication of bringing big fortune to Tanzania and Tanzanians as it can significantly improve Tanzania’s economy, society, reputation, sport and environment.

In addition to these substantial economic and social benefits, as Shayo sees it,  the finals will enhance Tanzania’s standing internationally by giving tourists from around the world a platform to learn about and visit tourist attractions in Tanzania Mainland and the Isles.

It will also foster a strong sense of pride in Tanzania as a leading regional host country for the AFCON 2027 events.

“A country, Tanzania must capitalise on the advantages and legacy of a historic period of AFCON activities in the country to ensure a successful and true Tanzania reaps benefits.

“We must build on this momentum and continue to draw and host the very finest international athletic events to continue enjoying the numerous economic benefits that will accrue to our nation,”  he said.

He, however, cautioned that Tanzania should understand that planning for such a multinational event necessitates taking special safety and security measures for the visitors.

“Finally, Cybersecurity is another area of rising concern that we need to have our eyes on during the AFCON 2027 event.

“My analysis reminds me of the local authorities at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics where had been the target of a cyber-attack. I do know we are good in certain areas but here we need to have in place experts to monitor and look into suspicious activity because so much sensitive financial and personal information during or ahead of the event will be stored on network computers that can pose a big risk to our security system and economy.

In retrospect, Tanzania Golf Union (TGU) has congratulated the entire AFCON Bid ‘The Pamoja bid’ team of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in general.

TGU Chairman, Gilian Kasiga said: “The leaders of EAC from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda gave it all. We are proud of our President, Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Sports, for the dedication they put to market the region and Tanzania in particular.

“This decision by CAF to award the host to the tripartite bid is just the first step. Work must embark on getting ready not just for football on the pitch but to attract and be ready to host a great number of visitors to our destination and tourist attractions.

He said TGU will support this bid by organising golf games for visiting football fans who are golfers as it must be a combined effort by all of us to be hosts and display our great hospitality known to be associated with Tanzanians.

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