GABORONE, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Botswana's Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare, stated that hosting major sports events like the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) would be beneficial for the country's economy, boost infrastructure development, improve the country's image and attract tourists.
Rakgare made his remarks on Tuesday during a session of the Botswana Parliament in Gaborone. His comments came in the context of Botswana and Namibia's joint bid to co-host the 36th African Cup of Nations in 2027.
He stated that the positive effects of Botswana's hosting AFCON in 2027 would bring an attainable and reasonable target of 30,000 international tourists to the country for a period of one month.
"For both tourism and trade, inter alia, continental and to some extent global perception of Botswana as a safe, democratic and investor-friendly country, should portend some level of interest by tourists to visit Botswana and the business community to invest in country in the future," he said.
According to Confederation of African Football (CAF) reports from February 2022, the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon was one of the best performing products globally, with one billion views on TikTok, 900 million impressions across all television channels, and 2.8 million hours of watch time on YouTube on the day of the final.
Rakgare also stated that there were lessons learned from the bidding process to host the event, and that the results of the facilities audit provide a critical yardstick for determining the gaps that need to be addressed for Botswana to achieve high income status.