— Published 17 January 2022

Athletes housed in university residences


Delays are piling up and time is running out in Kinshasa, host city of the 2022 Games of La Francophonie (19-28 August). But the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are repeating in unison: the Games will take place, and they will take place on the scheduled dates. The Congolese Minister of Regional Integration, Didier Mazenga, and the director of the organising committee, Isidore Kwandja, confirmed this at the end of last week during a meeting with the Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde: the project to build a new athletes’ village at the Tata Raphaël stadium in Kinshasa has been abandoned. With seven months to go, the delay in construction would mean that the buildings could not be delivered in time for the sporting and cultural event. The athletes of the next Games of La Francophonie will therefore be housed in the renovated rooms of the Kinshasa university campus. For the occasion, the Congolese organisers are announcing the installation of fibre optics, a reinforcement of the water and electricity system, and the development of sports fields. Comment by the director of the organising committee: “This is an opportunity for our country to kill two birds with one stone: to organise the games within the deadline and to make investments that will benefit Congolese youth.