Tanzania's takeaways from Africa Cup of Nations finals

Taifa Stars players pose shortly before clashing with Morocco in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) match at Stade Laurent Pokou in San Pedro, Ivory Coast. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Tanzania's national football team, Taifa Stars, were among the 24 teams that competed in the tournament after making it through continental qualifications.

Dar es Salaam. The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals have just ended, and the host country Ivory Coast has won the title.

The tournament witnessed some of Africa’s traditional powerhouses being prematurely eliminated from the prestigious competition, with excitement overshadowing the matches.

Tanzania's national football team, Taifa Stars, were among the 24 teams that competed in the tournament after making it through continental qualifications.

Besides Taifa Stars' participation, Tanzania sports authorities attended the finals to glean insights from the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) ahead of the 2027 finals, set to be co-hosted by Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

With Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Zanzibar having been designated as focal points for the tournament, Tanzania is eager to leverage the lessons learned from previous hosts, particularly Ivory Coast, to ensure a successful and memorable event in 2027.

Ally Mayay, the Director of Sports Development in Tanzania, has played a pivotal role in studying Ivory Coast's approach to hosting the Afcon finals.


One of the crucial aspects highlighted by Mayay is infrastructure development. Mayay said Ivory Coast's investment in stadiums and training grounds across six venues set a high standard for future hosts.

Tanzania is taking notes, focusing on enhancing existing facilities and constructing new ones to meet the demands of such a prestigious tournament.


According to Mayay, there is the huge impact of the tournament branding, citing Ivory Coast's extensive promotion of the competition through billboards and the national flags of the competing nations.

This strategy not only fosters excitement among locals, but also creates a vibrant atmosphere for visiting fans.

Tanzania aims to replicate this success by implementing strategic branding initiatives to bring enthusiasm and maintain unity across the country.


Regarding security, Ivory Coast's rigorous measures to ensure the safety of guests and participants made a lasting impression on Mayay.

 From controlled access points to vigilant policing, every aspect was exactly planned to prevent disruptions.

Tanzania is committed to adopting similar protocols, prioritizing the security and well-being of everyone involved in the tournament.


Hospitality played a crucial role in Ivory Coast's Afcon hosting experience, with visitors praising the warmth and friendliness of the local residents.

Mayay noted how taxi services and car hire companies employed professional drivers with excellent customer care skills, enhancing the overall experience for guests.

Tanzania aims to emulate this hospitality by promoting a welcoming environment and providing top-notch services to visitors from around the continent.

Reflecting on Ivory Coast's achievements, Mayay expressed confidence in Tanzania's ability to exceed expectations in hosting the 2027 Afcon finals.

Drawing inspiration from Ivory Coast's successes while also incorporating unique innovations, Tanzania is poised to deliver an unforgettable tournament experience.

In Dar es Salaam, preparations are already underway to ensure the smooth functioning of the tournament.

The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with a blend of modern infrastructure and historical landmarks.

The Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, with its capacity to hold tens of thousands of spectators, will be a focal point for football enthusiasts.

Arusha, nestled at the foot of Mount Meru, offers a picturesque backdrop for Afcon matches.

The city's serene atmosphere and temperate climate provide an ideal setting for players and fans alike.

Zanzibar, known for its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage, adds a unique flavour to the Afcon experience.

The New Amaan Sports Complex will host matches that showcase the beauty and diversity of the island.

Visitors can immerse themselves in Zanzibar's vibrant atmosphere while enjoying world-class football.

As Tanzania prepares to welcome teams and supporters from across Africa, anticipation continues to build up for the 2027 Afcon finals.

With valuable lessons learned from Ivory Coast and a commitment to excellence, Tanzania is ready to leave its mark on the continent's premier football tournament.

From state-of-the-art infrastructure to warm hospitality, every aspect of the event is being accurately planned to ensure a memorable celebration of African football.