Kenya is planning to roll out a massive diplomatic offensive in a bid to host over 3,000 international delegates for the 12th World Chambers Congress (WCC).
A delegation of top officials from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) was in Beijing, China, to bid for the global forum slated for July 2021.
The event is organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation, which brings together leaders and professionals to share best practices on business and trade. It is held every two years.
According to KNCCI, the target audience for this event falls into five distinct groups: Business community, international business associations, national government and institutions, Nairobi Business Community and the regional organisations headquartered in Nairobi.
The Sunday Nation has learnt that the bidding committee, chaired by Mr James Mureu, will promote the event through shuttle diplomacy in all the 177 chambers affiliated to ICC which Kenya is part of.
Winning the bid to host WCC will further raise the bar on Kenya’s conference tourism, which was buoyed by 2016’s success that saw over 100 world leaders visit Kenya at different times.
Notable events hosted in Nairobi in 2016 include the week-long United Nations Conference for Trade and Development in Nairobi, Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific Parliamentary Assemblies meeting, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development and the African Green Revolution Forum.
Others are the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2015 attended by then US President Barack Obama and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference chaired by then Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Amina Mohamed.
The bidding committee intends to use a three-pronged approach to achieve its objective: Educating the world about the conference, engagements through shuttle diplomacy and enrolment of participants especially key opinion leaders.
Kenya is leveraging on the successful hosting of these international events with the proposed venue being Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
“KICC has the capacity with large meeting rooms as well as outside breakout rooms and we look forward to hosting the chambers in 2021,” said KICC chief executive officer Nana Gecaga.
Kenya is also banking on Nairobi’s cosmopolitan status that combines African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures to bag the key event.
Most companies, which have operations in this regions, have headquarters in Nairobi including international organisations and multi-national companies. Coca Cola, General Motors, Google and even the United Nations’ regional headquarters are located in Nairobi.
Favourable reports by renowned international bodies are also a key selling point for the Kenyan team.
Such include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales which, in its report Economic Insight: Africa Q1 2016, said Kenya’s economy is projected to grow by six per cent during the 2017 to 2020 period.
Nairobi is also the most attractive African city for Foreign Direct Investments and ranks seventh among the continent’s top 20 cities of opportunity, according to a 2015 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Also, Nairobi’s famed National Park, is the only one of its kind within the precincts of a capital city and despite its modest size, is one of the world’s most diverse and interesting protected areas.
Other pitching points include the famous coastal strip and the fact that Kenya is the home of two top UN programmes – Unep and UN Habitat.
“It is the only other city hosting UN agencies after Rome and Geneva,” Kenya says in its bidding documents.
Mr Mureu said his team also showcased Kenya as a country with an experienced hospitality industry of global standards.
“I am persuaded to think that l have been able to convince you that we are not giving them a concrete jungle, but an experience of Africa. It is going to be a congress like no other. We would like it to coincide with the wildebeest migration,” he told the jury of the ICC WCF Meeting in Beijing.
The bid has received support from President Uhuru Kenyatta and regional chambers including those of Uganda, Tanzania and Botswana.