Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate, William Samoei Ruto, has promised to transform the sports industry in the country if he wins the upcoming election. Ruto said his government will leverage sports to profile the nation in a manner that improves other sectors of the economy.
Speaking during the Kenya Kwanza manifesto launch at the Kasarani Stadium on Thursday, June 30, the deputy president stated that if he bags the State House ticket, his administration will build a sports garment industry in the country.
“We must create a big sports garment industry out of our sportsmen and women because everywhere in the world if you say this shoe comes from Kenya, the sporting nation, you will get a premium price for it,” stated Ruto.
The United Democratic Alliance party leader added that the Kenya Kwanza government will make sure the sports fund kitty will be used for its intended purpose.
“We must make sure the fund that we set up to deal with matters of sports infrastructure, which currently is being used to do other things, is used to do the right thing. We have to ring fence it.”
“We collected, I think Ksh15 billion, but it was used to build hospitals instead of sports infrastructure. All the resources coming from the fund must go to developing sports infrastructure,” he added.
Kenyan national teams have been hit hard in recent years by financial challenges forcing some of them to pull out of international tournaments. The men’s basketball team, Kenya Morans, endured a lot of troubles before eventually traveling to Egypt for the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The world basketball governing body had to chip in and help the Kenyan side who were on the verge of failing to honor their matches. Morans have been grouped in pool D alongside hosts Egypt, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They will kick off their qualifying campaign against the latter before battling it out with East Africa counterparts DRC.
Kenya Simbas also endured similar challenges in their preparations for the Rugby Afrique Cup tournament slated for Saturday, July 2, before Hildana Lodge came to their rescue with a Ksh10 million sponsorship package.
Simbas will open their qualifying campaign against arch-rivals Uganda at 4pm East African time on Saturday. Other teams that will take part in the tournament include Namibia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.