Cabinet Slashes Zonal Stadium Budget


The new plan is to build 44 youth clubs across 117 weredas




After being criticized for excessive budgets for five zonal stadiums which would cost 300 million Br each, the Addis Abeba City Administration Sport and Youth Bureau has revised its plan, and will now construct youth clubs with a budget not exceeding three to four million Birr each.

“We decided that constructing stadiums is not a basic need for the city,” said Nigatu Dagnachew, head of the Bureau.

But the decision came from the Addis Abeba City Administration Cabinet, which cut the budget it had initially allocated for the construction of the zonal stadiums.

The cabinet decided the cost of the new youth centers should not exceed four million Birr, according to sources.

The Bureau’s decision to construct zonal stadiums was controversial, many residents of the City claimed that prioritising the construction of stadiums is a luxury, while the city still lacks basic infrastructural developments.

The former plan was to construct full-fledged stadiums with football fields and running track with a capacity of holding 30,000 spectators at once.

“We are planning to construct 44 youth clubs across 117 weredas,” said Nigatu.

Unlike the previous approach the Bureau will use three methods to finance the construction of youth clubs. Part of the budget will come from the city administration. The Bureau will also mobilize funds from the community, as well as approaching companies to finance the construction of the youth clubs as a form of corporate-social responsibility.

The new youth clubs will have basketball, volleyball and handball courts but no tracks or football fields. They will be built near condominium sites, schools and areas that are reserved for social development, according to Nigatu.

“Currently young people are playing on asphalt roads that are built for transportation. It shows the need for having the youth clubs,” Nigatu told Fortune.

According to the previous plan, the administration planned to construct five more zonal stadiums in addition to the existing Yidnekachew Tessema and Abebe Bikila stadiums. The plan was to construct the zonal stadiums in the districts of Aqaqi-Qality, Yeka, Nifas Silk Lafto, Bole and Gullele.

Following that, the Bureau awarded a local firm, Zamra Construction, a contract for the construction of a stadium in the Ayat area, in Bole District, in July 2016. The stadium would cost 500 million Br.

The Bureau also announced a bid for the construction of the Aqaqi-Qality Stadium a month ago. This project had been given to Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Company at a cost of 1.3 billion Br in 2013. But the deal was terminated and the Bureau announced a tender for the construction of the stadium again last month.

There would be no changes to the stadiums that are already in the process, including the one in Bole District, which was awarded to Zamra Construction, and the Aqaqi Qality Stadium that is under a tender process, according to Berhanu Bayu, communications expert at the Bureau.

“The Aqaqi Qality Stadium has been requested by the community for the past several years so we will not cancel the construction of this stadium,” said Nigatu.

“If it is necessary we will complete the remaining zonal stadiums within the period of the second edition of the growth & transformation plan period ,” he added. The Plan will be completed in the next three years.



By FASIKA TADESSE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Mar 18,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 880]


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