Great Ethiopian Run race organizers have announced that Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia Plc has taken on the title sponsorship of their annual Women First 5km road race, which will take place on Sunday 13th March 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Announcing the news, General Manager of Great Ethiopian Run, Dagmawit Amare said: “We are very happy to have Safaricom as our title sponsor for the 19th edition of the race. With their focus on sport and young people in their partnerships in Ethiopia, we believe that there is a good fit with our work of delivering high-quality mass-participation running events to a diverse range of running enthusiasts.”
In June 2021, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc was awarded an operating license for telecom services in Ethiopia in the single largest foreign direct investment into Ethiopia. Capitalizing on its vast experience as one of Africa’s biggest telecom operators, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc plans to invest over $8.5 bn in infrastructure over the next 10 years in order to support Ethiopia’s digital transformation agenda.
“We are excited to be the title sponsor for the 2022 Women First 5km run as we grow our commitment to investing, supporting and growing sports talent in the country in order to create more opportunities for youth development,” said Anwar Soussa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc.
“We believe in the power of sports and its ability to transform lives, especially for the youth. As part of our commitment to sports, we will support athletics in Ethiopia and we have the ambition to nurture and grow local talent. We are proud to partner with the Great Ethiopian Run as we continue to build a network in the home of champions,” he added.
Registration for the run opens on Valentine’s Day, Monday 14th February 2022, when ten thousand places will be on offer for participants.
The Women First 5km was first staged in Addis Ababa on Sunday 16th May 2004 and has been staged annually for the past 18 years. It is the biggest women’s-only run in Africa. In 2020 the race had 11,000 participants.
Since 2005 the race date has been in March as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day on 8th March. Past winners have included 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Tiki Gelana, 3-time Dubai Marathon champion Aselefech Mergia and 2021 TotalEnergies Great Ethiopian Run International 10km winner Yalemzerf Yehualaw. The first winner of the race was 16-year old Konjit Tilahun. Ethiopia’s double Olympic champion Meseret Defar is the Women First 5km race ambassador.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Safaricom Public Limited Company is a provider of converged communication solutions, operating on a single business driver that has a peerless understanding of voice, video and data requirements.