Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga Says Country Will Bid To Host 2024 Summer Games
Kenya plans to make a bid "to become the first African nation to host the Olympic Games in 2024," the country’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga told Wallis & Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Odinga said sub-Saharan Africa’s time to host the Games had come. He said that the region’s trillion-dollar economy "was set to boom over the next decade," and hosting the Games would bring Kenya, east Africa’s leading economy, "a psychological boost" and “enormous benefits” in terms of investment in infrastructure. Odinga: “Kenya had the confidence as far back as 1968 to consider bidding for the Olympics.” In '04 the idea was raised again and the country's newspapers scoffed, illustrating the drift Kenya experienced after the heady days of independence in '63. Odinga said, "That is the spirit we need to recapture. We need to bring back that confidence and say we can do it. It is necessary to take a look back at where are coming from and where we want to go, because we have been drifting for too long.” A Kenyan bid would be welcomed by the IOC but would face stiff competition from expected pitches by N.Y. and S.F. The IOC said that it "was not aware of Kenya’s interest" but added: “The [IOC] president has made it absolutely clear that we would love a good bid from Africa” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/10).