OJ: "Africa Station", the future African village-club of Paris 2024
An open-air space in the heart of Seine-Saint-Denis to promote sporting and cultural Africa during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, while bringing the Games and their atmosphere to a population that will not necessarily have access to them, this is the "Africa Station" project, led by ANOCA (Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa) and the host municipality of L'Île-Saint-Denis.
The Olympic rings in Paris, host city of the 2024 Olympic Games. © AP/Michel Euler
By: Christophe Diremszian Follow
The question arises at every Olympic Games: where and how to create a typically African atmosphere at the heart of the most universal sporting event? If the first experiment in London in 2012 had been cut short – a village in Kensington Gardens closed before the end of the fortnight due to a default of payment of suppliers – that of the "Casa Africa" of Rio 2016 had been more successful, but little publicized.
For Paris 2024, ANOCA is thinking big. Project name: "Africa Station", on the banks of the Seine, in the commune of L'Île-Saint-Denis, in the heart of this department of Seine-Saint-Denis highlighted in the economic and social legacy left after the Games, but whose inhabitants sometimes still struggle to grasp the concrete benefits.
Business, basketball and concerts
The site chosen is the Robert-César Stadium, a vast sports complex of 3.4 hectares located less than 5 km from the future athletes' village, transformed into a festive place and showcase of the continent and the values of Olympism. Athletics track, football field, covered basketball floor, swimming pool for initiations and local competitions reserved for the inhabitants of the city, but also shops, 100% African catering areas and conference center for forums and recruitment operations in companies. Five different hubs would punctuate this place of life animated every evening by concerts, and supposed to fulfill a double objective: to instil the spirit of the Games in a population that may not have the chance to experience them from the inside - even if a giant screen broadcasting the events will be installed - and to highlight the successes of Africa, starting with its award-winning athletes who will be invited to come and celebrate their medals. A particular country would also be honored every day, through stands of crafts, cuisine or tourism.
Official presentation in January 2024
"Africa Station" is an initiative with contours still to be finalized – its official presentation is not scheduled until the end of January 2024 – but a first budget of 465,000 euros has already been established for its financing. Local sponsors and official commercial partners of the Organising Committee of the Games are already being asked to integrate a project that will gain momentum over the months, with a first phase visible to the general public from the Fête de la Musique on 21 June.
NewsletterReceive all the international news directly in your mailbox
Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application
Read on on the same topics:
- Olympics 2024