The 17th edition of the African Athletics Championships received a major financial boost on Wednesday with Safaricom, one of Kenya's largest mobile operators, unveiled as the title sponsor of the continental event.
The telecommunications company will put in Sh20 million into the four-day event with an additional Sh3 million for technical support, and thus becomes the second company, after Kenya Airways, to partner with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) .
The chief human resources officer of Safaricom, Joseph Ogutu, said the company will continue to invest in sports development in Kenya.
"We believe this event will create a major platform for marketing Kenya as a leading destination for sports tourism while showcasing the athletics talent that has made this country so famous," said Ogutu.
LOC chairman Isaiah Kiplagat welcomed Safaricom's contribution saying it would go a long way in making the event success.
Kiplagat who is also the chairman of Athletics Kenya (AK) said that preparations for the five day event are on track.
"All the arrangements are in place. The equipment is on its way and the repairs at the stadium are going on. There is nothing really that is holding us back," said Kiplagat.
"These championships are going to be the biggest ever with about 1200 athletes taking part. It will be used to select the team for the Continental Championships that are going to be held in September in Split, Croatia," he added.
Kenya will field the highest number of athletes followed by Nigeria and perennial rivals Ethiopia.
The event will be held between the 28th of July through to 1st of August at the Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi.