Nairobi to reap big from conference tourism in 2016

Monday January 4 2016

Delegates during the opening session of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference at KICC in Nairobi on December 15, 2015. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Conference tourism in Nairobi is set get a boost as the city hosts high level international conferences this year.

The Japanese government has organised a high level economic forum, the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) for African presidents slated this year.

This will be the first time the forum is held in Africa and will provides a forum for leaders to present proposals to the Japanese government for funds to implement projects.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has confirmed that trade ministers from around the world will be in Nairobi for a weeklong fourteenth session on July 17 to 22.

The Africa Academy of Management Biennial Conference kicks off the year with its weeklong symposium starting on January 5 to 10 at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, Kenya bringing together business leaders to brainstorm the way forward in uplifting lives via job creation in enterprise expansions.

Among topics to be covered during the conference will include ‘The Progress and Potential of African Economies (McKinsey, 2010), Africa Rising (The Economist, 2011) and ‘Cracking the next growth market: Africa (Harvard Business Review, 2011).

The Environmental Cement Africa conference slated for January 21 to 22 at Laico Regency Hotel will cover issues promoting sustainable cement production via innovative reduction of alternative fuels and smoke emissions.

OIL AND GAS

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also sponsored a week-long conference for environmentalists which will be hosted by the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission in Nairobi starting February 1 to 5.

The Nairobi based children’s lobby, ANPPCAN hosts the international conference on the Impact of Armed Conflict and Terrorism on Children, starting from February 7 to 10 where issues touching on adverse effects of conflict on children will be addressed among others.

With more oil and gas sources being discovered in northern Kenya, ‘The East Africa Oil and Gas Summit & Exhibition is planned at KICC starting on February 10 to 12 which will provide a platform for East African governments and private investors a forum to examine the vast opportunities across East Africa.

Kenya’s role as a crucial launchpad into East Africa will be addressed deeply at the Project East Africa meet that will be held at Intercontinental Hotel on February 16.

With major inroads made on the Information, Communication and Technology front, AITEC East Africa Summit is to be held on February 24 to 25.

ICT gurus and innovators have been invited in a bid to mobilise smart implementation strategies at company, community, village, city, region, district and county levels to bring to realisation effective service that improves lives.

The inaugural African Conference for Human Computer Interaction (Africhi) is also slated for a weeklong stay in Nairobi in late November 2016 while agricultural experts, agrochemical processors and farmers flock into Nairobi for a three-day Agritec Africa meet starting on June15 to 17.

The 2016 calendar portends good tidings for the hospitality industry that suffered a downward spin following a spate of terrorism attacks and travel advisories.

Kenya continues to attract global visitors through international forums for public and private companies with 2015 playing a significant role for such opportunities when the country became the first African country to host Pope Francis. US President Barrack Obama's visit also saw 500 US billionaires visit Nairobi.

December also marked Kenya’s position as a preferred destination when it hosted 7,000 delegates during the World Trade Organisation Conference.