Gaborone - Botswana is among four African countries vying to host the 2022 Youth Olympics, as the vetting process moved to the crucial and final stage this week.
The Southern African nation joins Tunisia, Senegal and Nigeria as the four interested countries to host a first ever Youth Olympic Games in Africa.
It began with the Preparation and then Dialogue stages, where the four countries sailed through.
Now the four bids would be closely scrutinized before the winner is announced in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October. Buenos Aires hosts this year's Youth Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced this week after satisfying themselves with the bidding cities, at Dialogue Stage, the process has moved to the final Candidature Stage.
“Over the past month, three-day visits were made by IOC experts to each country to gather information on the motivations for hosting the YOG and on the potential master plan, and to make key site visits to existing fields of play.
“The visits involved preparing feasibility reports on existing indoor multi-purpose arenas, potential sites for outdoor festivals, temporary facilities and accommodation solutions,” IOC said in a statement.
The experts gathered information on the motivation and objectives, youth and sport strategies and experience of hosting major events in each of the biding cities.
Botswana's Gaborone, Dakar in Senegal, Nigeria's Abuja and Tunis in Tunisia are the bidding cities.
IOC said between now and the end of August, the IOC Evaluation Commission would further assess the candidates' projects.
“Led by IOC Member in Turkey, Ugur Erdener, the YOG 2022 Evaluation Commission will submit its final report and recommendation in September 2018, and the host for the YOG 2022 will be elected at the IOC Session in October 2018 in Buenos Aires,” the IOC said.
Botswana National Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho said the country has gathered sufficient hosting experience to organize the Youth Olympics.
“We believe we have gathered enough experience over the years such that we should now be ready to take on a bigger task; like hosting the Youth Olympic Games,” he said recently.