TALKING NOTES BY AMB. (DR.) AMINA MOHAMED, EGH, OUTGOING CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF SPORTS, CULTURE, AND HERITAGE DURING THE OFFICIAL HANDOVER OF OFFICE TO INCOMING CABINET SECRETARY FOR YOUTH AFFAIRS, SPORTS AND THE ARTS, HON. ABABU NAMWAMBA, EGH, AT KNLS, NAIROBI ON OCTOBER 27, 2022
Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and The Arts Hon. Ababu Namwamba,
Principal Secretary for Sports Joe Okudo,
Principal Secretary for Culture Josephta Mukobe,
CEOs and Director Generals of State Corporations,
Heads of Departments,
Staff from the Ministry, Members of the Fourth Estate,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I wish to officially welcome the new Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports, and The Arts Hon. Ababu Namwamba and the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage Hon. Peninah Malonza as they take over the reins of leadership in the two Ministries.
Secondly, I thank the team that has worked diligently with me over the years to improve the state of sports in Kenya and uphold Kenya’s culture and heritage at the local and international stage.
I wish to particularly thank PSs Joe Okudo of Sports, Josephta Mukobe of Culture, CASs Zacharia Kinuthia and Simon Kachapin, Secretary Admin for both Sports and Culture, CEOs of State Corporations, Heads of Departments, the staff domiciled in my office and stakeholders in the sports and culture sectors for their dedication and selflessness in service to this nation.
As it is said, “a leader is as good as the team he leads.” I was lucky to have a team that helped me deliver on my mandate.
Let me take you down memory lane of where we found the Ministry when I took over in 2019 and how much it has taken to win over the confidence of sports stakeholders.
At the time, as I walked into the Ministry, the corridors were lined up with disgruntled athletes including Paralympics team that struggled to get funding, missed competitions, and got stranded at airports. There was dilapidated infrastructure, very few international events hosted in the country, cases of blocked roads, including the Thika Superhighway by protesting sportsmen and women, and some institutions including Kenya Academy of Sports that were present only on paper.
Heritage sites were not gazetted and faced risks of encroachment, Vasco da Gama Pillar and Fort Jesus faced ocean erosion, while the Kenya Cultural Centre, the Institute of Primate Research and National Museums of Kenya were dormant.
To move from where we were to where we got to see a Ministry that is respected, admired and held in high esteem has been a transformative journey.
We have constructed several new stadiums including Kirigiti International Stadium, Kinoru, Chuka, Narok Stadium, and Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu, and upgraded the Nyayo and Moi International Sports Stadiums to make them modern and up-to-standard. This is in addition to the construction of the Jamhuri Sports Ground as a sports and recreational centre
Further, the Gazettement of over 20 historical sites has been undertaken.
We have passed Culture and Music Policies, Anti-Doping Policy, reviewed the Anti-Doping Act among others during that time.
Additionally, we have rolled out legal, policy and institutional reforms which include the revision of the Sports Act and offered technical support to federations to amend their Constitutions to align with the Sports Act and the Constitution of Kenya.
We got all federations into the boardroom and pushed for their compliance with Sports Act as a first task.
I was happy to hear H.E. President William Ruto also call for compliance with the rule of law, because that is what we have been doing as a Ministry.
Additionally, we have managed to title the Railways and Naivasha Golf Courses to protect them from land grabbers. This is a trend that I had started during my time as Education Cabinet Secretary where I implemented the titling of public schools. I hope that this trend will continue both at the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Education.
We, further successfully negotiated the return of WRC Safari Rally – with the 2021 and 2022 editions breaking the world record as the most watched in the series.
Additionally, we hosted the Africa Deaflympics Ball Games, Word Under 20 Championships, the Nairobi City Marathon, Tong-Il Moo-Doo, 2021 and 2022 Kip Keino Classic, Barthez Cup Rugby, Safari Sevens, Athletics, Judo, Soccer, Chess, Tennis. We have also facilitated all Kenyan teams to participate in international events.
On Governance, to improve accountability, transparency, and integrity in federations, we set up Committees of professionals and stakeholders to streamline operations and management in federations like Cricket Kenya, Football Kenya Federation, and the Kenya Sports Federation of the Deaf among others.
During this time, Kenya has grown both as a sporting powerhouse and a host of choice for international sports.
It has been a difficult journey, time-consuming, and resource-consuming, but worth the while. We thank Kenyans and all those who were involved for the successes we have achieved.
And as I hand over the baton, I wish the incoming team of Hon. Ababu Namwamba and Hon. Peninah Malonza all the best as they take on the tasks ahead.