Africa Village project closes amid financial difficulties

A tented village designed to promote the culture of African countries taking part in the Olympics has been forced to close amid reports of financial difficulties.

A person familiar with the Africa Village project, which cost about €3m (£2.4m), said there had been problems paying suppliers of the exhibits, which in particular affected the contractors providing security.

The village took the form of a number of tented enclosures on land in Kensingston Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall. At first, as many as 40 countries belonging to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) were expected to put up displays inside the village. However, reports last week suggested the number was closer to 25.

The person familiar with the project said it was not impossible that the village could re-open before its scheduled closure on Sunday, but thought it unlikely.

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee said the closure of the exhibit was a matter for ANOCA.