Jean Baptiste Sebukangaga78, is a successful businessman currently constructing a two-storey hotel in the university town in Butare, South of Rwanda.
Rwanda is preparing to host the forthcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) in the next twelve months putting Sebukangaga under pressure to complete construction of his hotel ahead of the championship.
The first whistle to kick start the championship will be blown mid-January 2016.
Sebukangaga says his hotel will cost Rwf200M ($286,000) and can host over 200 people. He is targeting to offer accommodation to some of the CHAN delegation.
“By God’s will, this building will be ready on time. I am not earning much money at present,” Sebukangaga says, folding his arms around his chest.
First held in 2009 in Ivory Coast, West Africa, and won by the Democratic Republic of Congo, CHAN features active players in the national championships.
Rwanda will be hosting it for the first time. Sixteen teams, including the host, are expected to take part.
Four stadia – two in the Capital, Kigali, one in the Western Rubavu town and another in Butare in the South – will host the tournament.
Mussa Hakizimana, spokesperson for Rwanda’s football governing body, Ferwafa, says the tournament’s draft budget stands at Rwf4,000,636,000 ($571M). And infrastructure revamp is likely to cost another Rwf4b ($570M).
“The most daunting task was lining up activities. All that remains now is implementation. We are waiting for more funds allocation by February,” he says.
“Overall, we are at 40% done in terms of preparations,” says Hakizimana.
This week, Ferwafa was in talks with its South African counterpart.
As a result, Erick de La Fuente, the Peruvian who helped South Africa successfully organize the 2010 World Cup and CHAN 2014, would arrive in Rwanda for a month anytime this year to share his experience.
And for Rwanda, it is not just about organizing CHAN, but snatching the trophy, too.
“Why not? All is about good preparations,” says Ferwafa’s spokesperson.
The world football-governing body, Fifa, ranks Rwanda football team 68th in the world and 19th in Africa.
Meanwhile, Sebukangaga can’t wait for the tournament. “I will be super excited to watch it from home,” he says.