2024 Olympics: Kenya to bid for 2024 Olympics, says PM
London, UK - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the capital city of Nairobi is preparing an ambitious bid to stage Africa’s first Olympic Games in 2024. Odinga, a retired footballer and sports lover, said he believed Kenya had what it took to host the event in 2024. Odinga was speaking in London where he is lending support to the Kenyan team to the 2012 Olympics. He is also in the British capital on a charm offensive, aimed at wooing international investors to Kenya.
“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,” said a statement in London.
Asked if he was surprised by Odinga's announcement, Kenya's Sports Minister Paul Otuoma said it should be seen as part of Kenya's efforts to build modern sporting infrastructure.
He said 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 pulled out of hosting the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations finals at the last minute citing hiccups.
The African Football Confederation (CAF) stepped in and asked South Africa to host the event.
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 hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup and had been expected to bid for the 2020 Olympics before its government surprised many last year by 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.