Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has outlined the capital city of Nairobi is preparing an ambitious bid to stage Africa’s first Olympic Games in 2024.
Africa’s most recent Olympic bids saw the Egyptian city of Cairo fail in its attempt to land the 2008 Games won by Beijing, while the South African city of Cape Town made a bid for the 2004 Games landed by Athens. South Africa successfully staged the 2010 FIFA World Cup and had been expected to bid for the 2020 Olympics before its government surprised many by last year announcing it would not support such a move. It is believed their efforts will now focus on a possible 2024 bid.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is set to commence the official bid process for the 2024 Games in 2015, with a host city selected two years later. A Kenya House statement, reported by Reuters, read: “Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaking at the Kenya National House, announced that the Republic of Kenya will be starting the process of pitching to host the Games of the 33rd Olympiad in 2024. If successful, these Games will be the first ever held in Africa.”
Asked if he had been surprised by Odinga’s announcement, Sports Minister Paul Otuoma on Thursday said it should be looked on as part of Kenya’s efforts to build modern sporting infrastructure, adding that he acknowledged Nairobi would need to make a significant effort to become a city capable of hosting the Olympics. “As a nation we are very much alive to what it really takes to hold an event of this magnitude, but Kenya is heading towards that direction,” said Otuoma.
Kenya eyes Africa’s first Olympics in 2024