The Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, also known as the Rwanda Cricket Stadium, was completed in 2017 after 6 years of construction. The 4.5-hectare field is located in the country’s capital, Kigali.
The ground is Rwanda’s first dedicated international cricket ground and it quickly became a prominent ground in African cricket. Their successful hosting of multi-national tournaments during the peak COVID-19 pandemic following the safety protocols led to being given more tournaments subsequently.
In November 2022, the ground surpassed the Harare Sports Club as the cricket oval to host the most T20I matches in Africa.
Reported in September 2014
Construction of Gahanga Stadium in Rwanda put on hold
Construction of Gahanga stadium has been put on hold due to contractual issues between the government and the main contractors.
The government of Rwanda terminated the contract after faults were detected in Gahanga stadium’s architectural design. Turkey-based BABILAKS construction limited had signed a two-year contract with the Rwanda Ministry of Sports and Culture to build the stadium. Construction of the Gahanga Stadium was slated to take $150m. The stadium was set to be located in Kicukiro District, Rwanda.
Putting hold the project means that the 40,000-seater stadium will not be completed in time to host the 2016 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN). The stadium would have been the largest in the country.
Director of Sports at the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Emmanuel Bugingo, has said that the event will now be hosted in Amahoro, Huye, Rubavu, and Kigali Regional stadia respectively. Huye and Rubavu’s stadia are almost complete.
“We have halted all activities relating to the construction of the stadium until further notice, meaning that the facility will not be ready to host the tournament.” Bugingo, who is also the CHAN organizing committee spokesperson, said.
He added that they realized there were plans they had not paid attention to, and which needed to be revised. Construction of Gahanga Stadium would have started in April this year.
Rwanda International Cricket stadium to be operational in 2017
The ongoing construction of the Rwanda International cricket stadium will be completed in 2018 but it will, however, be operational in 2017.
Rwanda international cricket stadium foundation General Manager, Mr. Eric Dusingizimana has said the stadium will be ready for use by January 2017 although its full completion is expected in early 2018.
Construction of the US$ 1.2m stadium began early last month and is being developed in the Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district, and the developers are almost through with the first phase of the project.
“We are almost done with the first phase of the project which generally entails clearing and planting grass and when the sports ground is done the teams will be allowed to start using it as work on the entire stadium continues,” Mr. Dusingizimana said.
Awareness of cricket in Rwanda
The initiative of the cricket stadium is hoped to increase awareness of cricket in Rwanda since it is one of the most progressive sports in the country. The sport has grown tremendously and has become a very popular activity in most schools in the country.
More sporting facilities will also be needed to make the sport a success and also attract more interested talents to participate in the game. At the moment, close to US$600,000 has been mobilized for the construction of phase one of the mega new development but the complete project is projected to cost US$ 1.2m.
The news of the stadium has been received with open arms and recently while Mr. Dusingizimana was on a trip to England, he was invited to a fundraising dinner where US$ 178,861 was raised towards the idea of building the first cricket stadium in Rwanda.
According to reports, the charity is run by a team of cricket fanatics from the UK Christopher Shale and Rwanda in corporation with the Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation.
US$ 1.3m International Cricket Stadium in Rwanda opens
Construction of the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Rwanda is now complete. The stadium is now open to the public making Rwanda the new home of cricket.
The state-of-the-art facility which is arguably the first of its kind in the region commenced construction back in April 2015. This was after the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation received a lease certificate for a 4.5-hectare plot in the Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district.
According to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation General Manager, Eric Dusingizimana; the stadium which cost US$ 1.3m has a height of 124 meters and a width of 137 meters with a modern grass pitch of ‘Bermuda Grass’ which is commonly used in modern cricket stadiums.
“The completed part of the stadium is built on a two-hectare area, and we are remaining with 2.5 hectares of land which will be used in the future. This is an exciting development for us and the younger generation is going to benefit heavily from this,” said Dusingizimana.
The national team captain pointed out that the money used in the construction of the stadium was raised by the fans of Cricket worldwide. Everyone is happy and pleased that Rwanda has a stadium that will host international matches in the future.
“We helped raise funds for the stadium and set a Guinness World Record by batting for 51 hours straight last year,” Dusingizimana explained.
The Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation was set up by Alby Shale, the son of a late British politician and cricket lover who visited Rwanda to do aid work.