Preparations under way for 40 000-seater Lilongwe stadium

25th May 2012 By: Marcel Chimwala - Creamer Media Correspondent

Preparations for the construction of a 40 000-seater stadium in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, are at advanced stage.

The project is being funded by a $60-million loan obtained from the People’s Republic of China.

Wang Junchao, director of the political section at the Chinese embassy in Malawi, says Chinese firm Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group (Sogecoa) has been appointed contractor for the project.

“Sogecoa is a qualified company that has rich experience in constructing stadiums in Africa, having constructed stadiums in Zambia, Mozambique and Togo,” says Wang.

He explains that the design of the stadium will be similar to that of the Ndola stadium, in Zambia.

Malawi Youth and Sports Minister Enock Chihana says the Malawi government has resolved to construct the stadium in Lilongwe, and not in the commercial city, Blantyre, as earlier planned, because the capital city does not have any stadium sanctioned by world football governing body, FIFA, to host international football matches.

Malawi hosts international matches at the Kamuzu stadium, in Blantyre, and Chihana says the Malawi government is also planning to give this stadium a facelift.

Sogecoa has undertaken a number of Chinese-financed major projects in Malawi, including construction of the new Parliament building, in Lilongwe, and the recently completed Malawi University of Science and Technology, in the southern district of Thyolo.

China is financing a number of construction projects in Malawi, including construction of the 101km Karonga–Chitipa road and the construction of a five-star hotel and conference centre in Lilongwe.