Conference tourism registers another good year in Kenya
Kenya has continued to take advantage of the successes of last year’s visits by the Pope and US President Barack Obama.
The country has become a top destination for high-level conferences, raising its profile in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector.
This year, Nairobi was named the leading African meetings and conference destination at the World Travel Awards. And in last year’s International Congress and Convention Association world rankings, Kenya was named the second-most popular meetings destination in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa.
Here are some of the events that helped make this a memorable year for players in the MICE sector.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad)
The 14th Unctad conference started on July 17 and brought together heads of state and other key individuals in business. This was Kenya’s second time to host the event since it was started in 1964.
Opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the six-day conference, whose theme was ‘From Decisions to Actions’, was aimed at tackling global trade and economic development.
It brought more than 7,000 global delegates to Nairobi.
The sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad VI)
The conference focuses on issues around African economic development. It was the first time Ticad was held in Africa, and outside Japan, since inception in 1993.
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi hosted the event on August 27 and 28. It brought in an estimated 10,000 delegates from across Africa and Japan.
Ticad IV’s theme was ‘Advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Agenda – Ticad Partnership for Prosperity’.
The fourth East Africa Oil and Gas Summit & Exhibition (EAOGS)
The three-day event was held at the KICC from November 15 to 17. It provided a platform for East African ministries and national oil companies to engage with international and local investors to examine the opportunities across East Africa in the power and renewable energy industry.
It was attended by more than 2,300 people from 30 countries in Africa, and 450 delegates from regional and international companies.
The event brought more than 9,500 visitors from all over the world to Nairobi for a three-day meeting that started on June 15. The event brings together agricultural experts, agrochemical processors and farmers.
The three key areas of focus at this year’s conference were facilitating agricultural markets and trade, improving agricultural productivity, and investing in public infrastructure for agricultural growth.
Global Partnership for Economic Development Co-operation (HLM2)
The high-level meeting was held at the KICC from November 28 to December 1. It took stock of the implementation of development commitments, and identified innovative approaches to sustainable development that can be scaled up.
HLM2 delegates came up with the Nairobi Outcome Document for existing and new development actors to implement Agenda 2030 and realise the SDGs.
Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D)
The conference took place from May 16 to May 19 in Nairobi.
The annual event, themed ‘From Innovation to Impact’, brings together public, private and civil society organisations to share how they have used innovations in technology to increase the impact of their work.
This year’s focus was on how Africa can use ICT to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The conference drew a diverse audience of technical advisors, executives, and others who offer a range of practical insights on applying technology to development challenges.