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    26 April, 2011
National Stadium inaugurated
 
Maputo, 26 Apr (AIM) - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Saturday spoke of his pride during the inauguration of the National Stadium which lies in the outskirts of Maputo.

The stadium, in the neighbourhood of Zimpeto, cost 65 million US dollars to build and has the capacity to hold 42,000 spectators.

The President stressed the stadium’s role in extending sport in Mozambique and as a pole of development for Maputo city.

For the President, sport in its various forms is a generator of a social and economic dynamic in its own right, but is also intertwined with other sectors of human intervention which contribute to the reduction of poverty and the creation of work.

Guebuza added that sport can promote social inclusion, fight idleness and create a healthier society with a higher quality of life.

“The time has come to invest even more in sport, which is a factor in human development and in the struggle against poverty”, said Guebuza, noting the need to invite the private sector to increase its presence in the sports arena.

In September Mozambique will host the All-African Games, and will welcome participants and guests attracted by the biggest sporting event since the country’s independence in 1975.

Construction is completed at the National Stadium, which will be the main venue for the Games. The Olympic Village and the swimming centre are still being built and the President called on citizens to play their part in making the Games a success.

“Each of us can reflect and put into action the plan to make this event a marvellous occasion and an opportunity for business and fraternisation with the thousands of guests that will be welcomed to the country”, explained the President.

The challenge, according to the President, is to use the African Games as an event to reaffirm Mozambican identity and self-esteem.

Warning that there are only 132 days left until the start of the games, President Guebuza urged: “we have to speed up. Expectations demand it. Our responsibilities demand it. And our tradition will not permit any other option than an accelerated pace”.

The National Stadium will host the opening ceremony of the African Games and some of the 24 events over the fortnight 3 – 18 September.

On Saturday the Stadium was baptised by a football match between Mozambique and neighbouring Tanzania, with the Mozambican team beating Tanzania 2-0. The evening was closed with a fireworks display.
(AIM)
 
 
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