WRC Safari Rally Project Team Building Session At Flamingo By Prideinn Hotel, Mombasa, 24th October 2020

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Coat of arms of Kenya

Talking Notes For Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, EGH, CAV, Cabinet Secretary For Sports, Culture And Heritage, During The WRC Safari Rally Project Team Building Session At Flamingo By Prideinn Hotel, Mombasa, 24th October 2020

 

Mr. Phineas Kimathi, WRC Safari Rally

Project CEO,

Members of the Steering and Local

Organising Committee present,

Directors,

Members of Staff

Press

Colleagues

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you this morning to close this important reset retreat. I am informed that the past three days have been incredibly enriching with critical presentations covering safety, security, medical, media, life skills, administrative processes and team building physical activities. I believe that this retreat has strengthened your bonds of collegiality and camaraderie and set us firmly towards delivering a world class event next year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta stated during the Candidate event, “the Safari Rally best embodies the spirit of possibility, a spirit that conquers and defies all odds. The return of this event is a seed that will inspire many of our people to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and with a clear sense of wholeness and an inspiration that has no limits.”

I am very proud of the work that you have all put into preparing for this event. You have constantly raised the bar assuring to deliver the greatest WRC event across all Rally circuits. As promised, the Government will continue to provide the financial, administrative and technical support necessary to facilitate the 2021 WRC Safari Rally Event.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The journey towards the return of the Safari Rally to Kenya brought many invaluable lessons; first, that we must prepare better than we have in the past by working in concert with experts and allowing ample time to test preparations before the actual event. Second, that we must synergize our operations as a government, to enhance efficiency and guarantee effective delivery. Third, that we must remain open to learning and improving our structures to continue the tradition of hosting the most challenging WRC Rally course in the world.

I am glad to note that so far, we have observed these lessons with admirable precision prompting specific actions and responses on our part. We engaged the WRC promoter to work with us systematically until the completion of the event and have, together, mapped out the route, engaged various manufacturers and teams to participate in the rally, set up the service park and continued to test the course to ensure that it brings the thrill, competitiveness and entertainment that the Safari Rally commanded before its suspension in 2002. We have also continuously engaged all of you, the heart of the Rally, to stay connected to your various mandates. We can only deliver this event as a team. Therefore, your growth as a team is exceptionally important to the WRC family and indeed, the Kenyan public who are the biggest supporters of the Safari Rally.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Due to the importance of the Safari Rally, I revamped the Steering and Organising Committees by bringing on board critical Ministries and high powered, highly specialized individuals to support you in this endeavour. The Steering Committee comprising members from Government, the private sector and rally professionals met on 29th April 2020 to take stock of the progress and provide procedural and technical guidance to the Project through the Chief Executive Officer. During that meeting, critical decisions, including approval of the sought budget were made.

The Ministry also availed the resources necessary to execute this event and will continue to do so to meet the standards expected by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, the FIA and the Kenyan public.

The Safari Rally is at the heart of our national heritage. It embodies the spirit of our people to excel even in the toughest circumstances. The profile of this event identifies Kenya’s capacity as a top tourist destination. It will converge in excess of 825 million visitors in the form of spectators, online games participants on Safari play station and global television viewership. We also expect to attract more than 1.5 billion online impressions making this event truly unique. It is estimated that this event will have a direct injection of approximately 6B Kenya Shillings in the form of foreign currency into the country.

In addition, and in keeping with Kenya’s intent to lead and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, together, we have mapped out a legacy project to secure sustainability and improve the conditions of our host institutions, host County and indeed, Kenya as a whole. The legacy project is anchored on two themes: environmental conservation and road safety Education.

As part of our Rallying legacy, we proposed to plant 18 million trees over the next three years to commemorate the 18 years that the Safari Rally was out of the World Rally Championship Circuit. Considering that the Rally did not happen this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope we can revise our mark to 19 million trees to mark 19 years of Safari Rally absence in the country. Our aim is to plant 1.9 million trees this year.

This project will target parts of our wetlands affected by deforestation, traditional Safari Rally and Kenya Motor Sports Federation routes, the service park and the spectator stage at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. This is a multi-agency operation in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Save Our Rivers Initiative.

Similarly, we are working together with various professionals to structure a road safety program to further embed the values of safe motoring for the benefit of all our people. The FIA President Mr. Jean Todt is also the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety. Recently, I was appointed to join the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety and will join other members for the annual meeting on 28th October 2020. FIA’s operational priority is action for road safety.

In this regard, we have enjoined the Kenya Automobile Association (AA), an affiliate of FIA charged with the responsibility of handling mobility, to collaborate on this theme of road safety. Our proposed intervention is to partner with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), to train the next generation of motorists on road safety, among other initiatives. We are in advanced discussions with President Jean Todt on a visit in the near future to launch this project.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, allow me to render my gratitude for your invaluable support and commitment to this Project. As you know, the Safari Rally is a key feature in His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to the nation. As such, it is a core legacy program of the Presidency. I am sincerely proud of the journey we have travelled this far and look forward to staging the most iconic Rally in the WRC Rallying history. Let us purpose to make our 19 year wait worth every while.

I am also deeply honoured to join the global Motor Sport family as a Member of the World Motor Sport Council. This election is a great honour for the motorsport fraternity and indeed for Kenya. It signifies our intention to feature on the global motoring world more boldly and with firmer presence.

With these remarks, it is now my distinct honour and pleasure to declare this retreat, officially closed.

Asanteni sana.

 

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