Kisumu Africities Summit host preparations engage top gear
Plans to host the 9th edition of Africities Summit in Kisumu town next year have kicked off in earnest.
The conference organised under the auspices of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) was scheduled for November 16 - 20 but postponed to April 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns.
Kisumu County began the construction of a 6,000-seater Convention Centre as part of the preparation process to hold the global conference.
Yesterday, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa led a delegation of the Africities National Steering Committee to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Africities Summit Convention Centre at the Mamboleo ASK Showgrounds.
Sh1.4 billion cost
The Convention Centre expected to cost Sh850 million is part of the Sh1.4 billion Africities project.
Wamalwa announced that preparations to host the signature event in Kisumu next year were well on course after it was rescheduled due to coronavirus pandemic.
He said the semi-virtual global event shall be held in strict compliance with the Covid-19 protocols, adding that the Ministry of ICT is working on ICT project that will see Kisumu successfully host the event semi-virtually.
The CS said the start of the construction of the Convention Centre marked a good progress towards hosting the event to be held in the country for the second time.
He added preparations were being in close consultation with the Ministry of Health.
“We are also putting in place the necessary ICT infrastructure to ensure that delegates who wish to participate in the event but are unable to do because of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in their respective counties are able to participation virtually,” he said.
The minister was accompanied by Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Deputy governor Mathews Owili among high-ranking dignitaries.
Nyong’o said that an investment conference shall be held at the Convetion Centre in September to set the stage for the Africities summit.
He said the summit will be critical in putting Kisumu and the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) on the international map as an investment destination besides showcasing the rich resources that abound the region.
“We are holding investment conference in September to ensure that by the time of hosting the Africities, we will leave no stone unturned in making sure that corona is not a danger to the delegates,” Nyong’o said.