In an exhilarating turn of events, East Africa has clinched the coveted opportunity to host the 2027 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), marking a momentous occasion in the region’s sports history. Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania joined forces (pamoja) to secure the bid, successfully outshining strong contenders from across the continent.
The announcement, made last week Wednesday by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Patrice Motsepe, in Cairo, sent waves of jubilation across East Africa. The bid, aptly named “PAMOJA,” which translates to “Together” in Swahili, signifies the unity and determination of these three East African nations to host one of Africa’s most prestigious football tournaments.
This historic achievement shatters the dominance of North and West Africa in hosting the AFCON, as East Africa takes center stage for the first time. The decision was the result of a resounding vote by the CAF executive committee, cementing East Africa’s place in the pantheon of African football.
The competition for the bid was fierce, with West African giants Senegal and Nigeria vying for the opportunity. Nigeria had partnered with Benin, while Botswana and Algeria also presented their bids. Algeria, however, withdrew from the race on the eve of the voting, further intensifying the competition.
The journey to securing this bid began earlier in May when a delegation led by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) presented the proposal to Uganda’s President, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The delegation included FUFA president Moses Magogo, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, and State Minister for Sports Hon. Peter Ogwang.
The hosting of the 2027 AFCON promises substantial social and economic benefits for the East African community. The tournament is expected to bring about increased tourism revenues, significant infrastructure development, and numerous employment opportunities, particularly for the region’s youth, who form the majority of the population.
As East Africa prepares to welcome the world’s footballing elite, the region stands united under the banner of “PAMOJA,” determined to make the 2027 AFCON a resounding success and leave an indelible mark on the African football landscape.