What will it take for Africa to host Olympics?

What will it take for Africa to host Olympics?
Paris is set to host the Olympic Games for the third time this year

BBC SPORT | The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are 100 days away, but staging the world's biggest sporting event is a privilege Africa has never been afforded.

That could be set to change, with Egypt preparing to table a proposal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2036 Games.

With construction on potential venues well under way - and some already completed - one Egyptian official has declared it is "time for Africa".

"We can't claim the IOC and the Olympic Games to be universal without hosting a Games on the African continent," Dr Kamilla Swart-Arries, an expert in sport, tourism, and events management, told BBC Sport Africa.

But what would it take for the continent to host the Olympics for the first time?

Has Africa tried to host before?

The Egyptians have previously mounted three unsuccessful Olympic bids.

Alexandria missed out to Berlin for both the 1916 event (which was ultimately cancelled) and in 1936, while Cairo failed to make the IOC's shortlist for the 2008 hosts.

South Africa has come closest to bringing the showpiece to the continent, when Cape Town was eliminated in the penultimate round of voting for the 2004 Games, which ended up in Athens.

Dr Swart-Arries worked on that bid and points to several reasons for its failure.

"A large part of it was in relation to geopolitics," she explained.

"At the time we were bidding it was 1995 to 1997, just post-apartheid. We were probably not ready from the perspective of Olympic sports.

"Also during that period, in terms of the bidding process itself, we know that the Olympic Games was fraught with corruption."

Does Africa have the infrastructure?

Africa has previously put on large sporting events, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, while Morocco will co-host football's biggest tournament in 2030.

Dakar in Senegal is preparing for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games, but the sheer scale and cost of hosting the Olympics presents the main challenge for any African bid to overcome.

There will be 10,500 athletes competing in 329 events in Paris, with the Paralympics in August and September featuring 4,400 athletes in 549 events.

Around 15 million tourists are expected to visit the French capital.

According to Sharif El Erian, the secretary general of Egypt's National Olympic Committee (NOC), there are "very few countries in Africa" which have the capability to host the Games.

"They were totally right not to come to Africa before," he told BBC Sport Africa.

"If you want me to pick three countries who are the best when it comes to facilities in Africa, I can pick easily: Egypt, South Africa and Morocco. The rest have no chance."

Some facilities earmarked by Egypt for 2036, including a 90,000-seater stadium, are already in use at its yet-to-be-named New Administrative Capital, located some 40km east of Cairo.

"I think Egypt is ready now," El Erian added.

"The main support infrastructure - roads, security, airports and hotels - has been developed in the past seven or eight years very strongly."

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