The Nigerian Society of Anaesthetists [NSA] , has won the bid to host the 6th All Africa Anaesthesia Congress [AAAC 2017]. The Association is therefore poised to host the biggest gathering of Anaesthetists in Nigeria and indeed Western part of Africa with the expected 1,000 doctors from all over the world gathering at the newly constructed, ultra-modern, Calabar International Convention Centre (Calabar ICC), Cross River State. The prestigious conference takes place every 4 years.
The National Association in conjunction with Calabar ICC are putting in place an aggressive delegate boosting strategy to achieve this record number of high profile delegates visiting Calabar. Ahead of AAAC 2017, Dr. Bisola Onajin-Obembe who doubles as the president of the Nigerian Society of Anesthetists (NSA) and Chair, African Regional Section [ARS] of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists(WFSA), will be leading the team to showcase Calabar at the Indoanesthesia 2015 Conference in Jakarta. According to Dr. Bisola, ‘the information about Calabar, Nigeria, hosting this prestigious event has gone viral around the world and with the plans in place, the conference must succeed.”
To begin strategic planning for the congress, Dr. Queeneth Kalu , Chair of 6th AAAC, met with the Calabar ICC team. During the meeting, she remarked that, “Calabar is the safest, most serene and hospitable city in Nigeria. For these reasons and more, Calabar is among top three meetings destinations in the country”. She continued, “With the state-of-the-art conferencing facility Calabar ICC is offering, we will surpass the expectations of our colleagues from all over the world, during the 6th All Africa Anaesthesia Congress. We are particularly very excited about the conference support services the Calabar ICC is offering, especially simultaneous interpretation. With up to 6 simultaneous language interpretation options, all delegates, irrespective of language spoken, will feel at home.”
Since the announcement of Calabar ICC as host of AAAC 2017, there has been so much excitement expressed by members across the region. Dr. Dave Otieno from the Kenya Society of Anesthesiologists said, “This event will be an astounding success for Nigeria, hopefully better than previous editions held in Kenya in 2009 and Egypt.”
Prof. Eguma, a top consulting Anaesthetists based in Calabar also commented on the benefits of Nigeria hosting AAAC 2017. She said, “hosting this congress in Nigeria creates a forum for knowledge and skills transfer that some Anaesthetists based here would never have had the opportunity to gain. It’s a great privilege to have this event brought home for the first time. “Infact, we should bid for even bigger conferences after this”, she added.
While Calabar ICC is poised to be among the leading Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) venues in Africa, this event and many others to come, is elevating and promoting Calabar as a business tourism destination of choice. High influx of delegates will therefore guarantee an injection to the GDP of Calabar and Nigeria as a whole. Calabar ICC Commercial Director, Ben Asoro mentioned that one of the keys goals of the Calabar ICC is to grow the local economy , hence the economic impact and ripple effect of the ICC cannot be overemphasized . He said, “By reason of this congress alone, which is one of the several already booked events, more revenue in tax will be generated at both state and federal levels.” Ben further said, “Going by our estimates, this congress alone will drive a supply for an additional equivalent of 26 Boeing 737NG domestic sector return trips to be made on the Calabar route, 6,000 extra taxi rides within the city and 4,000 hotel bed nights for local hotels. These estimates are exclusive of the domestic transportation, accommodation and other needs of delegate accompanying persons which if factored in will increase the afore mentioned figures .The above will translate to an estimated $580,000 spent in Nigeria by delegates and accompanying persons, excluding probable expenses on entertainment joints, food, purchase of local merchandize, leisure and tourist activities. This also excludes expenses made by delegates with planned pre-congress arrivals and extended stay in Calabar post-congress”.