Kenya Set Marketing Budget Target for London 2012

January 26, 2012

Kenya is hoping to secure $5 million (£3.2 million) to help market itself during London 2012, it has been revealed. 

Brand Kenya, the agency set-up by the Government in the East African country to help bring investment into the country, is currently searching for a property that can act as “Kenya House” during the Games.

The group will also Kenya’s remarkable success in distance running to help give a positive image of the country and persuade people to invest there.

Since making its Olympic debut at Melbourne in 1956, Kenya has won a total of 75 medals, 23 of them gold, including six at Beijing in 2008.

“We want to market Kenya not as a sporting nation, but an investment destination,” said Mary Kimonye, the chief executive of Brand Kenya. 

“We are seeking funds from the private sector through a partnership that will enable us sponsor a number of events in the Kenya House.

“The level of funding we are looking for from companies that we want them to raise is about $5.5 million (£3.5 million/€4.2 million).”

A number of groups, including Export Promotion Council, Export Processing Zones, Kenya Investment Authority and Kenya Tourism Board, are already working together to raise money to fund the project.

“Kenya’s competitive advantage as a country to do business was boosted mainly by its superior infrastructure, capacity for innovation, quality of education, sophistication of financial markets and exotic natural resources,” said Kimonye.

Kenya House will probably be located in central London and will showcase the country’s tourism, culture, coffee and food markets.

The plan has the support of Kipchoge Keino, the godfather of Kenyan distance running who won the 1500 metres at Mexico City in 1968 and who is now the chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.

Kenya’s team won a total of 14 medals at Beijing 2008, including victory in the men’s 800m for Wilfred Bungei, their best ever performance and hopes are high they will do even better in London.

“We have our brand as our athletes have done us proud in the past sports events,” said Keino, who claimed a second gold medal at Munich in 1972 when he won the 3,000m steeplechase. 

“We have the best tea, coffee, tourism, culture. Let’s put together and sell what we have.”