Rwanda hosts 2024 ITTF Africa Cup and Africa Olympic Qualification Tournament

Khaled El-Salhy – President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF)

Africa’s Table Tennis talents converged in Kigali, Rwanda for a chance to book their place at the Paris 2024 Olympics and it is the first time that the Africa Cup will be staged in Rwanda

Rwanda has recently become a hotbed for international sports events, and the hosts have laid out the world-class facilities the Government and people of Rwanda have put in place at the 10,000-capacity BK Arena for both events. 

The President, Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF), John Birungi, spoke about why they are hosting the Olympic qualifiers and why Rwanda is setting new standards for hosting.  

“We are very glad to be hosting this competition for the first time in our country.

The significance of us hosting is obviously. First of all, it’s a very big event, and most prestigious continental Table tennis event but also significant for us as a country, because this is part of our Country’s development strategy to boost the economy through sports tourism.”

“Part of my strategy and we as a federation are following in the footsteps of the others who have moved ahead of us like Basketball Africa League, the basketball federation and other sports federations.”

“This is for us also to be able to use the facilities that the government of Rwanda have invested in like the beautiful BK Arena, and it’s all part of developing sports, also boosting the economy by bringing in these big continental events.”

John Birungi – The President, Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF)

Birungi also highlighted some takeaways from the event:

“The takeaways are very many. First of all, we are learning.

So, our own team is learning and getting the experience to be able to organize big professional events like this one.”

There are lessons that we are learning in terms of preparations, timing but we are also building the ambition to do better and to do bigger things.”

“This is the Africa Cup and Olympic qualification, so it’s very significant, but we are dreaming of hosting even bigger tournaments and world championships, even the Olympic games themselves.”

“We have our own dreams as a federation but as you know, Rwanda is a country of big dreams, and the rest of us Rwandans, and sports federations, the masses, we have the same dreams as the Country.” 

Thrilled by the state-of-the-art venue – the BK Arena – President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, lauded the Birungi-led board of the RTTF for matching their words with action with the quality of the venue and other facilities in place for the tournament.

“This is a very historic moment I believe for Rwanda. This is the first time to organize such a big event, either for the African continent or the international.

“We are looking since a long time to come here in Rwanda and last year, they came with a very big file to host Africa Cup and this is the most efficient file for hosting this event.”

The annual general meeting gave the chance to Rwanda to host this event. Even it is one of the very best event in Africa because we trust that they are working on the right track to make a very professional event that we are seeing this year.”

Khalid El-Salhy also expanded on his impressions so far:

It is very good. Everybody here is feeling that we are playing a world Championship or a continental super event. everything is perfect, for the venue. We have a fantastic venue, for the hotel, everybody is satisfied for the accommodation and transportation.”

“I want to congratulate the Rwandan government for all the efforts to provide such professional way of organization.”

“Thanks to the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation under the leadership of Mr John Birungi for doing all facilities for the participants and for doing one of the best Africa cup within the previous years.”