Over recent years Kenya has hosted some of the biggest conferences and business convergences in Africa, welcoming delegates from all around the globe. This week Kenya’s International Convention Centre (KICC) is hosting a pre-global entrepreneurship Expo 2015. The Global Entrepreneur Summit, which Obama will be attending, is Africa’s largest startup event making use of all Kenya’s capital Nairobi, or the ‘green city in the sun’, has to offer.
It will be Obama’s first trip as President of the United States of America to Kenya. In addition to attending the event Obama will hold bilateral meetings and it is believed he may visit the birthplace of his father in western Kenya.
The meetings industry remains one of the most buoyant sectors of the tourism industry in Kenya. Understanding the importance of MICE to the country, Kenya has developed a strategy to bridge the gap between itself (10% market share) and South Africa (35%) within the African market.
Kenya will carry out a series of modernization and expansion of MICE facilities, including infrastructure improvement and development and technological advancement. 2017 targets an increase from 35,663 delegates (2012 rate) to 57,435, increasing the number of conferences (as measured by ICCA) from 29 to 44. This goal is currently on track with 38 conferences in 2013. 2014 figures are yet to be publically released.
The beating heart of Kenya’s conference industry is the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC). The KICC has been and still is an icon and landmark for Kenya, and a premier meeting venue as the largest in the region. Located at the heart of the central business district of Nairobi, KICC has a good proximity to all major five-star hotels.
In June this year – Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Mrs Phyllis Kandie, said “Kenya is ranked the second best Business Conference Tourism destination in Africa after South Africa.”
“She affirmed the Ministry’s resolve to become Africa’s top Conference attraction. She made the remarks while inaugurating a new board of members for Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), who were led by Mr Omingo Magara, the new board chairman.
“Construction of a 15,000 capacity Bomas International Convention and Exhibition Centre (BICEC) in Langata Nairobi is underway. On completion, BICEC will be one of the three largest Conference facilities in Africa,” she said.
In his speech, Mr Magara promised to take the challenge of ensuring that conference tourism becomes one of Kenya’s highest revenue generators. KICC CEO Fred Simiyu said he has a competent staff that will continue transforming KICC to one of Africa’s premier Meetings Incentives Conference Exhibitions (MICE) destinations. KICC collected Ksh800 million in revenues this year.
Global meetings scheduled to be held at KICC this year include: the World Public Relations Forum in November 2015 that will be held for the first time in Africa and the World Trade Organization Conference in sub-Saharan Africa in December 2015.
For further information on MICE in Kenya please visit: http://kicc.co.ke