This year’s WRC Safari Rally in Kenya took the motorsport world by storm, captivating motorsport enthusiasts and industry experts with an exhilarating event. Known for its challenging off-road terrain and breathtaking landscapes, the Safari Rally has long held a special place in the hearts of motorsport enthusiasts.
However, its impact extended far beyond the realm of sports. The rally catalyzed economic growth by attracting tourists, boosting local businesses, and creating investment opportunities, with billions having been invested in the event.
KCB Group CEO, Mr Paul Russo, recognizes the impact the rally brought to the Kenyan economy and expresses his confidence in its positive impact. KCB Bank, being the official financial partner invested Ksh150 million in the event. The amount went into sponsoring three drivers, leading the charge for economic revival in both the Kenyan economy and the world of motorsports.
“The return of the WRC Safari Rally to Kenya in 2023 was a significant milestone for our nation. It unlocked tremendous economic opportunities and showcased Kenya’s rich natural beauty and heritage to the world, generating substantial revenue and employment prospects for our people,” said Mr Russo.
KCB’s unwavering dedication to motorsport sponsorship has made it a regional brand powerhouse over the past two decades. Celebrating Kenya’s 70 years of the Safari Rally, the bank has taken the lead in motorsport sponsorship, investing over Ksh1.5 billion in the past 20 years to solidify its commitment to supporting motorsports in the country.
The pinnacle of this support is the return of the Kenyan Safari Rally to the global stage of the World Rally Championships after years of absence. Consequently, the rally ignited a multitude of opportunities across diverse sectors of the Kenyan economy, including the hospitality industry, service providers, arts, music, fashion, transport, businesses and many others, reaping substantial benefits.
As the rally concluded on June 25, 2023, it was projected that the event generated more than 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, while also fostering the establishment of thousands of youth enterprises and businesses, fuelling economic growth.
KCB has actively supported its customers and the youth by supporting business vending opportunities and developed products specifically tailored to their operations for sustained businesses and livelihoods.
Further, the Bank collaborated with more than 50 suppliers to ensure their success during the WRC as they strived to meet and exceed guests’ expectations. In addition, the Bank sponsored and facilitated ground access for their customers, particularly, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), allowing them to engage in business activities at the KCB tents and spectator grounds.
This brought together KCB vendor customers, offering opportunities for business, networking, and product marketing, thus creating a solid foundation for business growth.
In addition, businesses and customers were provided with a free transaction platform by utilizing the KCB Vooma till for payments, effectively eliminating transaction fees. KCB deployed its sales team to Naivasha and Nakuru for WRC activation, resulting in the opening of 252 tills in less than 10 days and making over Kshs 6 million deposits.
The banks’ involvement provided a platform for businesses to thrive, allowing them to transact seamlessly and drive financial inclusivity. The rally proved to be a catalyst for positive change and development, benefiting both individuals and the wider Kenyan economy.
In addition, to ensure a successful rally, the government and local authorities invested in improving road networks, telecommunications, and other necessary infrastructure in the rally’s host regions. These upgrades not only enhanced the rally experience but also left a legacy of improved infrastructure that benefited local communities and boosted regional development.