By Emmanuel Muga
BBC Sport, Dar es Salaam
President Benjamin Mkapa has promised Tanzania a new stadium
The Chinese government has signed an agreement with Tanzania to assist in building a US$56 million stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The state-of-the-art stadium was promised by Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa in 2000 after confessing that it was shameful for the country to have no modern arena.
Mkapa insisted that he would build a 60,000-capacity stadium before the expiry of his presidential mandate, which comes to an end next year.
The signing of the construction agreement has come as a relief to many Tanzanians who doubted the government's commitment to build a new stadium.
They are also happy that the president is keeping to his word.
"The president made a commitment that he would like to leave Tanzanians a good stadium before he leaves office," Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister who signed the contract on behalf of his country, told BBC Sport.
"He is very happy because all of this is his work, the credit goes to him and I am confident that the stadium will be ready before the next elections."
"We want to make sure the project is finished before then."
Tanzania's next elections are due at the end of next year.
Kikwete said the Chinese government will provide personnel, equipment and funds for the construction of the Dar es Salaam stadium.
The role of the Tanzanian government will be to provide basic facilities such as water and electricity as well as assist in the maintenance of the site.
Tanzania has no modern stadium, and the National Stadium, which is currently used for international matches, is in a poor state.
The arena, which seats 25,000, was built before Tanzania achieved independence in 1961.