NAIROBI, April 17- Government will work towards reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks to ensure smooth preparations of the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario has pledged.
Speaking this morning when he formally launched the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the event, Dr. Wario said the procurement officer in the ministry was included and a steering committee is in place to safeguard public investment in the biennial competition.
“We are going to do our level best. We will very much go out of our way to ensure Government bureaucracy is reduced. We will have an open book that is why we have our finance person.
“Money gets lost in procurement areas. We have to put a procurement process there so that we can conduct the business themselves. This is a serious venture and we have to be accountable. We will set up parameters to ensure we are transparent,” the minister said when officially starting off preparations of the biennial IAAF event.
Kenya won the hosting rights last November at the sidelines of the IAAF World Gala in Monaco after Argentina and USA withdrew their candidature and their bid was accepted by the IAAF Governing Council.
Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president, retired Lieutenant Jackson Tuwei, will head the 18-man LOC that pools together federation, ministry and Nairobi City County (NCC) officials, national broadcaster KBC management, anti-doping experts, hoteliers, Information Technology practitioners and marketers.
Principle Secretary in the Sports Ministry, Japhter Rugut and Jonathan Mueke of NCC will deputise Tuwei with AK chief executive officer, Isaac Mwangi appointed secretary of the LOC.
Other members of the organising body will be in charge of transport, accommodation, security, marketing, information technology and media in their areas of expertise.
Lt. Gen (Rtd) Tuwei who will take over as interim president of AK from May 1 when Isaiah Kiplagat proceeds on a three-month sabbatical; announced the tentative dates of the biennial track and field global age showpiece open to competitors of 16 and 17 years will run from July 11 to 16, 2017 at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
“We look forward to having between 1,500 and 1,600 athletes plus officials with some of the athletes accompanied by their parents. Between November and now, the constitution of the country allows for consultations and this is what has been happening since,” the former Army Commandant added in explaining why it took almost five months to name the LOC.
“In this particular organisation, we are working as partners between Government through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts and Nairobi County Government. It is going to be quite expensive but it is going to happen because the Government has announced it will do this,” Tuwei added as he called for promotion of the event.
Bureaucratic red tape was blamed for delays in organising the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa and the 2010 CAA Africa Athletics Senior Championships that were deferred thrice before they finally ran in
According to Wario, the LOC will sit and draw up the total cost of hosting the event with the Nyayo venue not cast in stone owing concerns about its location close to Nairobi’s Central Business District and logistics.
“We want to do a lot of fund raising. We need big corporate support in areas to be defined by the LOC. The lottery is almost there and it will help us. We need a lot of money and that needs to be identified quickly.
“We are looking at ripping off the track, getting new facilities as per requirements of the IAAF. We need facilities for 2000 athletes and we really have to upgrade. There are many ideas; we could use City Stadium for training and shuttling them to Nyayo.
“That’s the work of the LOC to sit down and look at the logistics to see whether Nyayo works first of all. People are divided, there are people who feel Kasarani is the place because it has all the facilities and others feel we need to be in the middle of the city. LOC should sit down and quickly give us the update,” the CS explained.
Wario said the doping issue that gripped the country saw planning for the 2017 World Youth shelved to tackle the scourge that threatened to bring the entire sports down following the spike of cases in recent years as he lauded AK for taking stern action against two foreign agents earlier this week to pave way for investigations.
LOC: Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei (chairman), Japhter Rugut, Jonathan Mueke (vice-chairpersons), Isaac Kamande (secretary), Kiget Kipsang, Chris Mutungi, Nchum Okuya, John Oling’s Longole, David Okeyo, Ibrahim Hussein, Joseph Lagat, Sally Sia, Joash Irima, Mohammed Abdullahi, Titus Kongengi, Dr. Jared Okoyo Nyakiti, Dr. Victor Bargoria, Fatuma Awale