Safaricom has announced a Ksh. 36 million sponsorship to support the 2024 WRC Safari Rally slated for March 28- 31 in Naivasha over the Easter holiday.

The company has come on board as the official technology partner to provide 4G network connectivity through the provision of five Cell on Wheels (COW) on the ground to provide seamless connectivity during the four-day rally event.

Two COWs will be set up at Hell’s Gate, two at Soysambu, and one at the Kedong stage. This will enhance network strength in viewing areas to cater for the large numbers expected at the rallying event. As the official technology partner, the telco will also set up two fully equipped media centres installed with internet connectivity at the Service Park and Hells Gate stage.

WRC Safari Rally 2024 itinerary: March 27 – 31

Part of this sponsorship, Ksh. 5 million, will go towards supporting the Kenyan youngster driver, Hamza Anwar. Anwar will be competing in the WRC3 category, driving a Rally 3 Ford Fiesta.

The sponsorship deal will also see Hamza’s rally car installed with a telematic gadget, a Smart Vehicle Tracking System. This will showcase Safaricom’s IoT (Internet of Things) powered Telematics solution which is available to Safaricom’s enterprise customers for fleet management. This solution integrates with the vehicle’s onboard computer, collects information on several parameters that are accumulated and recorded at the end and start of each trip.

Additionally, the telco, through its M-PESA Global International Money Transfer service, has also partnered with the M-Sport Ford team to support French rally driver Adrien Fourmaux. This partnership will see his car and kits branded M-PESA for the rest of the year.

Speaking at the sponsorship announcement, CEO Safaricom Peter Ndegwa stated, “For the past four years, Safaricom has consistently shown unwavering support for the WRC Safari Rally. This year we are thrilled to be part of the event and will be coming on board as a technology partner. As part of our commitment to nurturing talent, we will sponsor the youngster Kenyan driver Hamza Anwar as he has demonstrated remarkable passion and resilience in his motorsport career for years.”

The 2024 Safari Rally has attracted 29 entries, including WRC points leader and 2022 Safari Rally champion Kalle Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans, Katsuta Takamoto, Ott Tanak, Thierry Neuville, Fourmaux Adrien, Munster Gregoire, Serderidis Jourdan and Solberg Oliver among others.

The Kenyan team will be led by the five-time winner of the Safari Rally and 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, Equator Rally defending champion Karan Patel, Singh Vohra, Aarkif Virani, Hamza Anwar, Minesh Rathod, and Andrew Muiruri.