Virtual meetings have become the “new normal” as the world continues to battle the ongoing pandemic and as Rwanda prepares to host the FIBA AfroBasket 2021, preparations have gone online.
Commitment and a yearning for perfection are the attributes at the heart of this approach as the Rwandan capital looks to host Africa’s premier basketball event next year from August 24 to September 5.
This will be only the second time that the prestigious event is held in East Africa after the Kenyan capital Nairobi hosted the 1993 edition.
In an exclusive interview with FIBA.basketball, the Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) President Desire Mugwiza said, “We are very thrilled that Kigali will have the possibility to welcome all basketball fans from the African continent and the world for this greatest sporting event.”
“Rwanda is absolutely ready to host the AfroBasket while delivering a world-class experience in the process. Indeed, this is such a great opportunity to create a lasting and positive sports tourism attraction event through basketball.”
Kigali hosted the Basketball Africa League Qualifiers last December
“Despite the preparations being conducted virtually with the already set infrastructure where fibre is connected countrywide, the federation with support from the Ministry of Sports has already started the preparations virtually with all the stakeholders formulating the organising committee.”
“The country has put in all efforts to mobilise required resources to host the AfroBasket. The Rwandan leadership recognises the importance and the opportunity of hosting such a competition. They have provided full support and the Ministry of Sports leadership is fully supportive to providing all the required resources to make this event a success.”
With enviable experience having hosted several continental tournaments in the past including the 2009 FIBA Africa Champions Cup, the Rwanda Basketball Federation is building on that to devise ways of making this an unforgettable event for the participating teams and the fans from across the continent.
Mugwiza has promised a memorable FIBA AfroBasket 2021
“Every time we are given an opportunity to host a basketball tournament as the federation, we consider it as an opportunity to use basketball as a tool to transform the Rwandan community while connecting the positive economic and social momentum to leave a legacy.”
“It is through this mentality that the organising committee leverages on to make sure there is an improved planning and a successful event execution plan that leads the team to improve and get better each time,” Mugwiza explained.
Rwanda hosted the BAL Qualifiers last December in the newly constructed Kigali Arena that seats 10,000 people and also hosted the FIBA U18 African Championship 2016 at the Amahoro Indoor Stadium drawing thousands of fans.
Thousands flocked the final between Angola and Egypt in 2016
To make matters easier for FERWABA, the Minister of Sports Aurore Mimosa is a former basketball player while the Permanent Secretary is a former FIBA referee Shema Maboko whose experience officiating at many international events world over will come in handy.
“As the federation, explaining the process to such leaders with full knowledge of basketball is a great asset that we do not take for granted. It makes the work we do a lot easier.”
Honourable Mimosa is a former basketball player
“One of the key strategies is to work and collaborate with the Local Organising Committee composed of experienced experts in sports, marketing and events operations. They have an absolute experience and expertise in planning and execution of big events. We look forward to welcoming the world to Kigali for a memorable experience at the FIBA AfroBasket 2021.”
The Qualifiers of this prestigious competition started in February and will resume over the net two windows with the first one from November 27-29 and next February 19-21 over two legs. The top three sides in each of the five groups will join host Rwanda to make the final 16 teams.