How KCB is championing quest for Kenya to reclaim Safari Rally glory

For 16 straight years and still counting, Kenya Commercial Bank, the region’s biggest asset bank has led the way in one unlikely sector that few acknowledge – sports.

While many players in the banking and financial services sector shy away from investing in the otherwise ‘neglected’ yet lucrative sector that mainly involves the youth, the bank, currently headed by Joshua Oigara, has invested hundreds of millions in sports but it is the impact of these efforts in motor sports that stand out.

KCB came into the fold in 2003, just after Kenya had lost her hosting rights for one of the legs on the FIA calendar of events – the celebrated Safari Rally and has since been a permanent partner. This is in addition to sponsoring a KCB Football Club and volleyball teams for both men and women.

Their commitment to invest at least KSh20million every year has borne fruits as the country is now gearing to earn reinstatement to the World Rally Championship calendar, with a candidate event scheduled for July.

“They have been very consistent and that is how Kenya has got into a position to bid for reinstatement, ” says veteran notoriety journalist Samson Ateka.

“Their sponsorship goes into individual clubs that host the events with a further allocation going into administration costs at KMSF. “

The government has appointed a task force to spearhead the quest for reinstatement but it is KCB’s investment that has been the oil that powers the bid. For two years, they had given up their title sponsorship of the KMSF calendar but their return this year means they “remain committed to helping the sport regain its lost international glory. “

“Truth is there would be no such bid as we have now if not for KCB sponsoring KMSF activities to the point that the government now wants to see the WRC back. Everybody had deserted but the bank has done very well to keep the sport alive,” concludes Ateka.

In July, FIA will send a observer team to compile a report on the organisation of the candidate event before the global governing body makes its final decision on Kenya’s chances of being reinstated to the WRC calendar.

This achievement would transcend just the excitement that sport brings but greatly contribute to the economy of Kenya through sports tourism.

This is a contribution by the KCB that would forever be etched in the long history of Kenyan motor sport for many years to come.

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