Kenya has announced its intention to bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, government officials confirmed in Nairobi on January 13.
The surprise announcement was made by the country's Sports Minister Ochilo Ayacko, in the presence of visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge during the official opening of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya's headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, said spokesperson for the sports ministry, Grace Owiti.
Kenya is the first African country to win an Olympic gold medal and wants to be the first African country to host the Olympic Games, Ayacko said.
"I am also surprised to hear the minister is launching the bid for 2016. Mr. Minister, this will be headline news around the
world, believe me!" said Rogge. "I was very pleased to hear the minister in charge of public works say that more land will be made available for sports. Now Kenya wants to host the Olympic Games. That will require a lot of land, Mr. Minister," the IOC chief said.
Five cities -- Paris, London, New York, Madrid and Moscow-- are now bidding for the 2012 Olympics. The winner is to be announced at the 117th IOC session in Singapore on July 6.