Preparations for the Africities Summit planned for Kisumu are in high gear as the Lakeside City readies to host the 2020 edition of the pan-African event.
Slated for November 16-20, 2021, the event will gather together about 10,000 delegates from across the continent into Kisumu.
The Africities Summit which is held every three years brings together 47 national associations of local governments. Kisumu will be the first intermediary city to host the event.
Kisumu County government in partnership with the National government has been working to ensure that everything is in place for the international gathering with a multi-agency committee in place since September 25, 2020.
The National government is upgrading the event’s venue, Mamboleo Showground, to international standards in preparation for the occasion. The contractor has up to April to handover the facility.
The high stakes, Africities Summit, has drawn close scrutiny and involvement from the National government with a national steering committee drawn from the State Department of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Trade, International Security, Tourism, ICT, Transport and Infrastructure.
“This is a Kenyan-affair, Kisumu is just hosting it,” said Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o.
Prof. Nyong’o said that even Covid-19 will not dampen the commitment to deliver a successful Africities Summit.
“Kisumu is looking forward to a very successful meeting. It will make the world know that there is a city called Kisumu somewhere in Kenya,” he said.
Kisumu County has set up a secretariat with an office in Milimani Estate which is responsible for managing the preparations.
Africities Summit was last held in Kenya in 2006, the previous event was held in Kigali, Rwanda.
The summit is expected to provide a lot of social and economic benefits to the local economy especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors which have been hard hit by the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that towards and after the 2021 summit, Kisumu City will not be the same again,” the Governor said.