2023 could be a fascinating year for Rwanda in sports as the country prepares to host a number of global sporting events as part of its
The Tour du Rwanda 2022, Cricket T20 tournaments, Africa Tae Kwondo Championship and Basketball Africa League (the BAL) were among major sporting events that Rwanda hosted in 2022, attracting thousands of people from across the globe to either participate on witness.
2023 also has a lot in store already with the upcoming FIFA Congress in Kigali, during which the member associations will hold elections for FIFA president, leading the agenda.
Times Sport takes a look at some of the major sporting events which will take Rwanda by storm this year.
Tour du Rwanda
This has been the biggest annual sporting event on the Rwanda sporting calendar since 1988. The 15th edition of the event will take place from February 19 -26 and it is set to attract riders across the globe.
Tour du Rwanda remains among the best cycling competitions in Africa given that it is rated among the top races registered on the UCI Africa calendar.
Eritrean cyclist Natnael Testefasion who rides for Italian Club Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli won the race in 2022 and he will be looking forward to defending his title if he is to compete at this year’s edition.
Testefazion is the only rider to have won the tournament twice since it was approved to 2.1 on the UCI Africa Tour calendar in 2019.
73rd FIFA Congress
The 73rd FIFA congress where affiliated nations will vote the FIFA President will take place on March 16 in Kigali.
Arguably the biggest sporting event that Rwanda will host this year, the congress will be hosted at the Kigali Convention Centre. FIFA President Gianni Infantino who has been the boss of the world football governing body since 2016 is going to run for the top job unopposed.
Kigali International Peace Marathon
The annual event, which is usually held in the month of May or June, has been in existence since 2005. It is used to promote the development of peace through sports.
The event is a road marathon and it is a World Athletics Label Road Race and a member of the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races.
Basketball Africa League
The event will kick off in March on Conference bases after which the top four teams from each conference will come to Kigali from May 21-27 to compete in the single elimination playoff and the finals at the BK Arena.
Tunisia’s US Monastir are the defending champions having beaten Angola’s Petro de Luanda 87-72 in the finals on May 28, 2022.
Afrobasket women 2023
After a successful men’s Afrobasket in 2021, Rwanda was given rights to host the Afrobasket women 2023 that is due to take place from July 28 to August 6 in Kigali.
The Women’s Afrobasket tournament is a continental championship contested by the women’s national teams of Africa, held once every two years under the auspices of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
The competition brings together 12 teams from different African countries to compete.
Nigeria are the winners of the previous edition of the Women’s AfroBasket that took place in Cameroon in 2021.
The tournament returned in December 2022 after a three-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic and it attracted tennis players across the globe.
The event will be held at the end of this year and is set to attract more participants than in 2022 when 97 tennis players competed.
Kenyan duo of Angela Okutoyi and John Njogu won the women and men singles respectively whereas Jane Ndenga also from Kenya was crowned the winner of the Women Wheelchair category.
SECOTO Football Tournament
Rwanda will host the Sustainable Environmental Conservation and Tourism football tournament in 2023 in a yet to be determined month,
Over 780 young footballers from 20 countries in five different continents will gather in Rwanda for the tournament.
The footballers will also learn about how they can sustain the environment and nature.