Senegal will be the first African host of any Olympics, after formally being awarded the 2022 Youth Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The decision in favour of Senegal against bids from Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia was unanimously passed during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After long deliberations, the evaluation commission and the executive board confirmed that Senegal presented the best value proposition and greater opportunities at this moment in time.
IOC vice president Ugur Erdener pointed to Senegal’s “booming economy” and better conditions than the other bidders.
The Youth Olympics games in Senegal are likely to be held in late May. This would be at the end of the dry season to “greatly reduce the prevalence of tropical diseases,” Erdener told the membership.
Sall was present to see International Olympic Committee members confirm the executive board’s preference from the four candidates.
The country will host the youth games in three places: Dakar; a new city of Diamniadio, close to the capital; and the coastal resort of Saly.
The games budget is estimated at $150 million, the IOC executive director of Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi, said at a news conference.
Senegal President Macky Sall said a 50,000-seat Olympic Stadium will be built for the government-backed project.
The construction project includes a rail link and an athlete’s village which will become university accommodation.