Ivory Coast on Saturday inaugurated its new 60,000-seat Olympic stadium, built with help from China, in Ebimpe, outside Abidjan, in preparation for the African Cup of Nations soccer in 2023.
The ceremony, with a grand performance of dance and music, took place in the presence of 50,000 people, according to organizers, including Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who is seeking a controversial third term in the October 31 presidential election.
The president said he was “proud and happy about this Sino-Ivorian cooperation” for “this architectural gem.”
The Ebimpe stadium will be the largest in the Ivory Coast, replacing the Houphouët-Boigny stadium located in the center of Abidjan.
It will host the opening match and final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The stadium and auxiliary facilities (swimming pool and Olympic city, hotel …) cost 218 million euros, according to the Ivorian authorities, with counterpart financing from China, which has a strong economic presence in the West African country.
The work was carried out in almost four years by Beijing Construction Engineering Group, a Chinese firm.
The construction of the facility also aims to develop the Anyama area, on the northern periphery of the economic capital of the Ivory Coast, where the construction of the first metro line is planned.