Wario was speaking when handing over flag to the last batch of 33 athletes who are set to depart Friday for Gaborone, Botswana as the continental competition got underway today to run until May 31.
“We have a lot of faith in this team and at the last edition we did not perform well so you have no choice but to improve on that achievement and that’s means we must be number one.
“With Kenya entering virtually in all sports disciplines, that shows our federations are working very hard and it’s an indication that our sports is growing not only in athletics.
“I urge you to be committed in the games and try the best since you will give our country a good reputation,” Wario said.
He added his ministry will be investing over Sh80m (USD 09,918) in this year’s major games that also include Commonwealth and Youth Olympics.
“We are taking these games very seriously and we will pay for all your needs including allowance and for those who will win, we will award handsome cash awards.”
121 athletes will represent the country in 18 disciplines in the showpiece that will serve as a qualifier for Nanjing Youth Olympics, which will be held in China in August.
“We have prepared well and for some of us this will be our first time to compete internationally. We are eager to come with good results and use the games to build our career since we are young,” team captain Agnes Mulee who will compete in 800m declared.
Kenya will be looking to better their 2010 returns in an event where Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and South Africa dominated the inaugural edition in Rabat, Morocco.