The competition to be hosted in three cities of Cameroon is expected to leave economic imprint on the national economy.
It is now certain that Cameroon will host the African Nations Championship football competition from April 4 to 25, 2020. Three cities have been earmarked to host the continental football tournament which will bring together 16 participating delegations from Africa. The event organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is a foretaste to the famous African Cup of Nations (AFCON) which Cameroon is scheduled to host in 2021.
In prelude to the African Championship competition, the government has embarked on a series of infrastructure projects that goes with the organisation of such big sporting rendezvous. Apart from the football stadia, access roads, lodging facilities, stateof-arts medical structures, and telecommunications amongst others have also been provided in the host cities. All of these have cost the State treasury quite a fortune and works are still ongoing to finalise preparations. The 2020 Finance Law states that priority will be accorded to the implementation of major transformational projects in the energy and road sector including the continuation of AFCON 2021 projects and organisation of CHAN 2020. With the ongoing works, thousands of new job have been created with the manpower is essentially recruited from local surrounding communities. The Douala site alone has created more than 11,000 jobs while the construction of the Paul Biya Stadium in Olembe Yaounde (though not hosting CHAN) which is estiated to gulp FCFA 170 billion, has enabled the recruitment of over 2000 youth at the moment. In the Limbe/ Buea site, the main stadium constructed before the 2016 Female AFCON has witnessed certain adjustments and refurbishment and certainly involved labour recruited from the surrounding communities. Access roads in Limbe and Buea are currently being worked upon by different enterprises which have provided jobs to many Cameroonians. Just last week, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, President of the Local Organising Committee (COCAN) in a communique invited applications from young Cameroonians who wish to be recruited on voluntary basis for the upcoming CHAN.
The tourism industry is also expanding as the days go by following the zeal of actors of the sector in the host cities to make brisk business. New hotels are cropping up in Douala, Limbe/Buea and Yaounde while existing ones are upgrading their capacities. Eight (8) hotels have been selected to host CHAN delegations in Douala while five are chosen in Limbe/Buea. Cameroon’s lodging capacity according to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure has tremendously increased from 930 hotels in 2012 to 1721 and 2585 beds in 2018. The figures are even higher in 2020 with the construction of new hotels which are targeting the CHAN 2020 and AFCON 2021. With 16 participating delegations which comprises of at least 30 people per delegation in addition to CAF officials, supporters and football lover across the world, the CHAN will be a veritable event for businesses like hotels, restaurants, transport and trade to flourish with huge multiplier effect on the economy.