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Safaricom Ethiopia has announced its sponsorship of the Women First 5km race, an annual women-only 5km run organized by the Great Ethiopian Run (GER) for the next three years.

The announcement made today will see the sponsorship commence with this year’s edition of the race, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 26, 2023. Now in its 20th edition, the run is expected to attract over 15,000 runners.

As the title sponsor, the telecom operator will support the annual race, while UNICEF Ethiopia, Sink Malt, Dashen Bank, and Ethio Post are also among the other sponsors.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

The women-only 5km run in Addis Ababa, was started in 2004, the same year as the Athens Olympics, to recognize the achievements of Ethiopia’s great female athletes. It also aimed to support broader changes regarding the role of women in Ethiopia’s economic and social life.

The race has grown into the biggest women-only run in Ethiopia and one of the biggest in Africa. The race traditionally takes place around the time of International Women’s Day on March 8. Double Olympic gold medalist Meseret Defar is the event’s ambassador.

Every year, the race highlights important social messages that focus on women’s empowerment. The theme for the 20th edition is “My Space, My Right, My Vote”. Safaricom Ethiopia was also the sponsor of last year’s event, which attracted just short of 7,500 participants


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