Rwanda has announced that it will submit a bid to host the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The president of Rwanda’s Football Federation (FERWAFA), Vincent Nzamwita says he is confident the country could host a sporting event of global significance.
The New Times newspaper quotes Nzamwita as saying, “we have expressed our interest through registration and we are waiting for the bid document and see what FIFA asked so that we can go ahead to make the official bid,”
Nzamwita also disclosed that the country intends to bid for the hosting rights to the 2025 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
In 2016, Rwanda successfully hosted the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) during which over 200,000 people travelled to the east African country to cheer up their teams.
The country also hosted the Africa Under-19 Youth Championships in 2009 as well as the Africa Under-17 Championships in 2011.
The Ferwafa boss said hosting regional or continental championships can do a lot to raise Rwanda’s profile while showcasing its potential and giant strides to the international community.
It is all too easy to associate Rwanda with the 1994 genocide that led to the death of close to a million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. But that was more than two decades ago and the country has moved on from the tragic events of 1994.
Today, Rwanda is one of the leaders of Africa’s digital revolution and a model for other countries on the continent. It is one of a handful of countries that achieved the Millennium Development Goals, with over a million Rwandans coming out of poverty between 2006 and 2011.
Earlier in August, the country successfully negotiated a presidential election that returned the incumbent President Paul Kagame to office.
Critics say Kagame, 59, has maintained a vice grip on the reins of power and is running an authoritarian one-party state. But his supporters say he has brought stability and rapid development to the former war-torn country. Infant mortality and poverty levels are down, while literacy rates and other developmental indicators have continued to climb steadily.