President Kenyatta says public-private partnerships good for sports


President Uhuru Kenyatta when he presided over the closing ceremony of this year's Magical Kenya ...
President Uhuru Kenyatta when he presided over the closing ceremony of this year's Magical Kenya Open Golf tournament at Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 20, 2021. PHOTO | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has attributed Kenya’s growing profile as a top sporting nation to strong partnerships between the Government and actors in the private sector.

The President called for more partnerships across all sporting disciplines.

“I also thank the corporate world for joining hands with my administration, which has made this event possible. Indeed, it is this spirit of partnership with the private sector that has made us, as a country, make good progress in the fight against Covid-19,” the President said on Sunday.

He was speaking when he presided over the closing ceremony of this year’s Magical Kenya Open Golf tournament at Karen Country Club in Nairobi County,

The Head of State vouched for the decentralization of golf to the grassroots saying involvement of junior and amateur golfers will help the sport to grow much faster.

“It is my hope that this collaboration will continue to enable the growth of golf throughout the country, from the junior and amateur ranks to the professional ranks,” the President said.

He thanked tournament sponsors Kenya Tourism Board, Absa Bank, Hemingways, Coca-Cola and EABL for making the 2021 Magical Kenya Open a success despite disruptions caused Covid-19.

“Indeed, Madam Jane Karuku leads our efforts at the Kenya Covid-19 Fund, a private sector led body. Her organisation, EABL, is here as co-sponsors of this event alongside the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund.

“I would also like to thank the Kenya Tourism Board, Absa Bank, Hemingways and Coca-Cola for their support,” President Kenyatta said while applauding the 156 participants from 30 countries among them 13 Kenyans.

The President wished participants in next week’s Savannah Classic, also part of the PGA European Tour, success and congratulated Kenya Open Golf Limited led by Chairman Peter Kanyago for Kenya’s growing profile as a golfing destination.

He said Kenya is proud to have successfully hosted the high profile sporting event despite it’s cancellation last year due to Covid-19.

Cabinet Secretaries Najib Balala (Tourism) and Amina Mohamed (Sports) also spoke at the closing ceremony hosted in strict compliance with the established Covid-19 containment protocols.

Mr Balala said that by successfully hosting the Magical Kenya Open and the forthcoming Savannah Classic, the country had started earning the benefits of its investments in sports tourism over the last three years.

The Tourism Cabinet Secretary lauded the President for his continued support for sports saying it is because of Kenya’s strong golfing profile that this year’s Magical Kenya Open attracted participants from across the globe.

On her part, Sports CS Amina Mohammed said 2021 is a major sporting year for Kenya and listed the Safari Rally which will be hosted in the country in June and the Tokyo Olympics as some of the key events to look forward to.

The 2021 Magical Kenyan Open was won by South African Justin Harding while American Kurt Kitayama and Scotland’s Connor Syme took first and second runners-up positions respectively.

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