Amina Mohammed, New Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Ambassador finally took over her new office at Kencom House, Nairobi in a brief ceremony attended by her predecessor Rashid Echesa on Tuesday.
The career diplomat, who has now handled Foreign Affairs and Education ministries before landing at the Sports docket, is already facing resistance from sports enthusiasts who are of the opinion that the docket has been not treated with the seriousness it deserves by the Jubilee government.
But with a busy year ahead and most federations and clubs struggling to attract sponsorship, Mohammed’s plate is already full to the brim before she even makes her first speech.
Financing of sports events has been a big challenge not only to the government but respective federations in the country.
Over the last few years, the ministry has been riddled with graft cases and allegations of favouritism in key appointments and nepotism – a common feature in sports federations in the country.
Will she reign in on the cartels in the federations?
All eyes will be on Mohammed with over 28 national federations expected to stretch their begging bowls at the ministry’s Kencom House headquarters, looking for funds.
With the Sports Fund now activated after the formation of the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund Oversight Board led by Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei, it’s up to Mohammed to give leadership and direction.
Mohammed will have to ensure that the newly formed board utilises resources at its disposal to restore the country’s sporting glory, promote the arts and preserve the rich national heritage.
The board will now foresee the building of strong national teams through provision of adequate funding as well as branding and provision of the necessary supplies they need to excel.
The board will manage some of the proceeds from the 15 per cent that is taxed on Betting, Lotteries and Gaming companies where the Sports ministry will have 55 per cent under their control – with 35 per cent meant for Sports.
Perhaps the most immediate assignment for Mohammed is the hosting of next year’s IAAF World Under-20 Championships where the government is expected to spend close to Sh2.5 billion.