This year, Kenya has possibly recorded her best performance yet in the conferences & meetings space. Following on from successfully hosting high-profile meetings such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the WTO Ministerial Conference in 2015, at the World Travel Awards held earlier this year, Kenya’s capital Nairobi was recognised as the leading African meeting and conference destination.
In the 2016 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) world rankings[i], Kenya ranked as the second most popular meeting destination in Sub-Saharan Africa (and fourth in Africa overall), having hosted 19 international association meetings in 2015. Kenya continued to host even more global gatherings this year, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD14), the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADVI) and most recently, the Global Partnership on Effective Development Co-operation’s High-Level Meeting (HLM2).
With an economy growing at over 5.5% annually[ii] that is ripe for investment, Kenya is attracting a great deal of local and global attention as the region’s business hub. Consequently, this has spurred a significant level of growth in the country’s meetings industry, where trade and business stakeholders meet to promote trade, showcase innovation, exchange knowledge, connect with communities, understand markets and engage with potential business development partners.
As a result, in 2016, Kenya hosted approximately 243 business and professional meetings, consisting of a range of conferences, summits, forums, congresses, conventions, symposiums, exhibitions and expositions. 55% of total audiences in these meetings were pooled from the local market and whilst Kenya may have been the destination of choice for the remainder, a further 22% consisted of a pan-African participants, another 15% of regional Eastern African associates and another 8% composed of international attendees.