NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The government will fully support the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) Candidate Event Safari Rally, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Sports and Heritage Rashid Echesa announced.
“Let us acknowledge and salute the government and KMSF efforts in taking the sport a notch higher,” said the minister during the 2018 Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) annual gala at the Carnivore Restaurant on Saturday night in his speech read on his behalf by Deputy Secretary Wesley Martim.
“This is because as you are aware, the Safari’s WRC campaign is a Jubilee government’s project and its patron is his Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Indeed 2018 remains a special year for motorsport in Kenya. The government-supported effort to return to the Safari back to the FIA World Rally Championship is on course.”
He said that as the motor sport fraternity paid tribute to the best of 2018 and celebrates the ultimate winner who is the Motor Sport personality of the year, all eyes in the world of motor sport will be on Kenya.
“The WRC Safari Rally Project will host the FIA WRC Safari Rally Candidate Event in July and we must win in order to be re-admitted back to the world championship next year,” he said.
The government has played its part in offering financial, material and moral support to the project and will continue to meet its mandate as the principal financiers.
He added, the government has also met its financial obligations to the FIA and WRC Promoter as the principal owner.
“Safari is not only our heritage but one of Kenya’s biggest promoters of the tourism industry in Kenya until 2002 when it was struck off the WRC,” he said.
“Actually, the event injected US$6 million directly into the Kenyan economy that year and 100 times that amount in indirect advertising for Kenya as a tourism and commercial destination in 300 television stations in 150 countries in the world.