Kigali Arena came in handy—Kagame at NBA Africa Forum

By IGIHE
On 25 September 2019 at 12:35

President Paul Kagame yesterday attended the NBA Africa Forum held in the United States on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly where he narrated that he was surprised by the way the Kigali Arena was filled with fans in recently played games.

The forum attracted the participation of current and former famous basketball players from the United States of America.

These include Congolese with Belgian nationality, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga who played for New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers; Bismack Biyombo from DRC playing for Charlotte Hornets as well as Dikembe Mutombo from DRC who played for Houston Rockets among others.

It was also attended by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Toronto Rapters President Masai Ujiri and NBA Africa VP Amadou Fall.

Kagame told participants that Kigali Arena was completed in Rwanda to create opportunities for those who are coming up and have the potential.

“We were thinking of putting facilities so that young people who like the game and have the potential can tap into this opportunity. I couldn’t think of any better thing than creating this facility for them. It took 6 months to build it with 70% of 1000 people building it being Rwandans while the remaining 30% were external experts. The main issue is not money, it is always possible to find the money for what you are committed to do,” he said.

Kagame said that when it came to the finals of the best teams (REG BBC and Patriots BBC,) in Rwanda recently, ‘the arena filled up 100%’.

“When I saw it filled I started wondering why we didn’t build it for 15,000 or 20,000.
Anywhere you go in Africa, young men and women want to express themselves in different ways and when something like that comes up they want to make use of it. What has happened is much bigger than what anyone ever imagined,” he noted.

“What we are doing is because of the inspiration you are creating around us. We have come together to make some of these ambitions a reality and that arena is part of that reality unfolding,” shared Kagame.

As he inaugurated Kigali Arena on August 2019, Kagame urged the youth to take advantage of the facility to train and become international players.

The president Kagame greeting Toronto Rapters President, Masai Ujiri
NBA Africa VP Amadou Fall greeting the president Kagame
The forum was also attended by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver,
Kagame told participants that Kigali Arena was completed in Rwanda to create opportunities for those who are coming up and have the potential.
Kagame urged the youth to take advantage of the facility to train and become international players.

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