President Uhuru on Saturday evening awarded The First Class Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) honour to the President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Jean Todt for bringing back Safari Rally.
Uhuru said he was awarding the FIA boss the coveted award in recognition of his distinguished and outstanding service rendered to Kenya and the world in motorsports.
The award was presented to Todt on behalf of the President by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua at a ceremony attended by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amb Amina Mohamed.
The FIA President is in the country for the ongoing WRC Safari Rally which made a comeback to Kenya after a 19-year absence. WRC Safari Rally is under the FIA stable.
“We thank the FIA, under the leadership of Mr. Todt, for its continued support towards the organization and hosting of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally in Kenya,” said Amina.
The WRC Safari Rally Kenya made a comeback to the country after 19 years of absence drawing thousands of fans who thronged the Rift Valley town of Naivasha where the event is taking place.
It was a painstaking journey to bringing the series back to Kenya and Africa after nearly two decades where the country had to undergo high level preparations to qualify to host the event.
Bringing back Safari Rally to Kenya was one of President Uhuru’s campaign pledges and which he has achieved.
Pundits say global exciting sporting events like Safari Rally help to increase the country’s happiness index as well as spurring the economy.
Amina said the WRC Safari Rally would inject more than Sh 6 billion to the economy making what the country has spent in preparation look like a drop in the ocean.
In Naivasha and the surrounding towns like Nakuru, the hospitality industry got a shot in the arm with hotels reporting 100% booking and with hundreds of other guests using tents.