New 30,000-Seat Gambella Stadium To Be Completed Before End Of Year

By Zecharias Zelalem

Gambella StadiumGambella, Ethiopia – The 30,000 seater Gambella Stadium construction project is nearing completion. The state of the art international grade stadium, saw its blueprints made public only last October, but the progress in the construction is such that the Ethiopian Football Federation president Junedine Bashah, boldly declared on his Twitter account that the stadium would be completed by the end of the year.

The 375 million birr project (Just over 18 million US$) is just one of many sporting facilities under construction or under massive face lift style renovation. Besides Gambella, similar projects are underway in Mekelle, Awassa, Nekemte, Dire Dawa and Woldia among others. The big one of course, is the much awaited Addis Ababa Stadium and Olympic village project slated to be completed in a couple of years time, while the recently CAF ratified Bahr Dar Stadium has already started hosting international competitive games.

The Gambella region of Ethiopia, famed for producing some of Ethiopia’s best ever handball and basketball players, has in recent years unearthed several gems of footballers, most notably Omod Okori, who has gone on to play professionally in Egypt besides being a national team star. The likes of Thok James, Ramkel Lok and Gatoch Panomo have also seen their stock rise in recent times and they are evidence of the growing talent pool available in the region. It is because of this that project football academies and Gambella state sporting leagues were¬†overjoyed at the announcement of the recent founding of a football club in the region, Gambella Kenema. Aspiring to reach the Ethiopian Premier League, Gambella Kenema will now serve to nurture the budding talent of the region and this stadium will only aid that cause.

Melese Haile of MH Engineering is the project coordinator. He’s the man in charge at the ongoing Nekemte Stadium construction project as well.

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