Kenya will bid to become the first African nation to host the Olympic Games in 2024, Raila Odinga, the country’s prime minister, has said.
Mr Odinga said Africa’s time to host the games had come. Hosting the Olympics would bring a psychological boost for Kenya, as well as "enormous benefits" in terms of investment in infrastructure.
According to Mr Odinga, Kenya had the confidence as far back as 1968 to consider bidding for the Olympics. But in 2004, when the idea was raised again, local newspapers illustrated the drift Kenya experienced after the heady days of independence in 1963.
"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," Mr Odinga said.
A Kenyan bid would be welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but early indications are it would face stiff competition from US cities, including New York and San Francisco. Durban is also a possible 2024 bidder. Other countries thinking about bidding for 2024 include Argentina, Morocco and Egypt. A new bid from Doha, ejected from the 2020 race over scheduling concerns, is expected.
Asked how he would sell the project, likely to cost as much as $15bn, to Kenyans, Mr Odinga pointed to the world attention that cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Atlanta and Mexico City had received when they hosted the games.