President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised that Kenya will continue host the World Rally Championship for the next five years as per the sealed agreement with the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Uhuru's promise after flagging off 2022 WRC Safari Rally at KICC [Photos]
President Kenyatta, who is the patron of the rally, said the sport injected Sh6 billion in the the county’s economy last year
The Head of State renewed the promise at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), when flagged off the second edition of WRC Safari Rally, happening between June 23 to 26 in Naivasha.
From KICC, the cars were driven to Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani for a Super Special Stage before proceeding to Naivasha where they will battle through 18 competitive stages.
The President flagged off the first ten rally cars which included Kenyan teams comprising of McRae Kimathi, Maxine Wahome, Jeremy Wahome, Hamza Anwar and the French megastars Sebastian Ogier & Sebastien Loeb who are gracing the iconic Kenyan fixture for the second time.
President Kenyatta, who is the patron of the rally, said the sport boosted the county’s economy by injecting Sh6 billion during the first edition last year.
“The historic nature of this rally is undeniable. Last year (2021), a record of 78 million people in 150 countries watched the rally. In addition, the rally was of great benefit to the country, injecting approximately Sh6 billion in our economy, with every sector sharing in the pie, including: players in the hospitality and transport sectors as well as micro, small and medium enterprises in Naivasha and its surrounding towns,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
The Head of State expressed optimism that this year’s event will be bigger and attract more spectators across the globe, projecting Kenya as an attractive investment destination choice.
“We expect that this year’s event will be bigger and even better. Already, the enthusiasm by spectators and the euphoria in cities and towns across the country is unmistakable. This is a clear indication of the close connection that Kenyans of all ages and from different parts of the country have with this sport,” he said.
He thanked FIA, the World Rally Championship team and all stakeholders for organizing the successful event, saying the Safari Rally enjoys a special place in the country’s national heritage.
“Indeed, the Safari Rally is one of the toughest rallies in the World Rally Championship series, with a remarkable course that takes drivers into Kenya’s undulated wild and in close view of our diverse wildlife.
“The Safari Rally has inspired many generations of Kenyans to dream of achieving unparalleled excellence. It is an event that unifies Kenyans of all walks of life, through our shared love of excellence, determination, and triumph against the odds,” he said.
Sports, Culture and Heritage CS Amina Mohamed thanked President Kenyatta for ensuring that the global event came back to Kenya after 19 years.
CS Amina pointed out that his determination and commitment has born fruits that will see the country host the event uninterrupted for the next five years.
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