Huawei, Lewa Safaris Host First Virtual Marathon in Kenya

Huawei and Lewa Launch Virtual Marathon Campaign to Prepare Wildlife and Tourism for Tomorrow

Eliud Kipchoge, Lewa Ambassador and World’s Fastest Marathoner at the start before the practice run Photo credits: Tim Mwangi

Kenya is hosting the 2020 Lewa Safari Marathon, formerly Safaricom Lewa Marathon, virtually Saturday, June 27.

Huawei Kenya, one of the sponsors, has pledged to provide the much-needed support required to host a virtual event and launch the ‘preparing for tomorrow’ campaign.

The campaign is in recognition that the extraordinary impacts the marathon has had on wildlife, communities and the tourism economy has only been possible because of the hard work of the previous 20 years and that activities today are critical to preparing for even greater impact in the future.

“Since 2008, when Huawei Kenya first got involved we have been able to inject over Ksh100 million into the Ksh800 million the marathon has fundraised for more than 80 education, health, agriculture and conservation projects across the country. Every effort we can make now to protect the wildlife will make sure we are prepared for when tourism returns and creates jobs and benefits for local communities. The costs to protect the wildlife today are small compared to the benefits they will bring for generations to come,” said Mike Watson, CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

In launching the campaign, Huawei sees parallels with its technology business. 

The economy today is even more reliant than ever on the telecommunications networks such as fiber, 2G, 3G, and 4G as well as IT systems such as mobile money and e-government that Huawei has helped build in Kenya over the last 20 years. 

Meanwhile, it is clear that all efforts must be made now to both maintain and enhance these networks to support small businesses, online learning, e-health, smart logistics, digital finance, and other applications that will drive Kenya’s economy into the future.

“Lewa’s legacy is one that we cannot afford to lose. Lewa is home to 11% of the global population of the endangered Grevy’s zebra, and currently hosts over 200 rhino across the Lewa-Borana landscape, as well as a host of other wildlife species.

The uninterrupted and continued existence of conservancy is crucial. As the organization continues to forge tirelessly ahead with their conservation efforts despite the pandemic, so must the marathon, and we are proud to be part of this legacy. Over the years we have donated significant amounts of funding and in doing so we know that every shilling is making a difference inside and outside Lewa’s boundaries” said Stanley Shenlei, Huawei Key Accounts Director. 

“#preparingfortomorrow campaign embodies the hard work Lewa has been doing in conservation and is true to our core values as an organisation.  

Both Lewa and Huawei continue to forge tirelessly ahead with enhancing conservation and telecommunication efforts respectively despite the pandemic so that Kenya can be prepared for tomorrow. 

Kenya has some of the best and fastest internet coverage and speeds, as well as technology innovations, on the continent and we are proud to have played a role in that—as we are also proud to have played a role in Kenya’s successful and innovative conservation and tourism efforts. 

This has been down to the hard work of incredible Kenyans working for many organisations, and this #prearingfortomorrow campaign is recognizing the unsung heroes who have enabled this,” He concluded.

The 2020 Virtual Safari marathon which already has over 1000 registered participants from over 70 cities, representing 20 countries, is truly a global challenge.