It is now official that Kisumu City will go down in history as the first intermediary city in Africa and the World to host the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa Africities Summit come November 2021. The summit will run from 16th to 20th November, 2021.
This comes after the National Government, the County Government of Kisumu and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding this morning giving Kisumu official hosting rights as well as allowing it to begin preparation towards the countdown.
Kisumu is set for many firsts as this will also mark the first time the summit will be held outside a capital city. This therefore presents a great milestone in the growth and maturity of Kisumu as a County and as a City.
Speaking at the official launch ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL Eugene Wamalwa said that with the signing of the MOU a lot is expected from Kisumu for the summit to succeed. He assured the UCLGA Secretary General Jean Pierre Mbassi of the National Government’s total support saying that they will immediately convene the national steering committee to allow each related Ministries take different roles towards the preparation.
So far, the Ministry of Tourism has committed Kshs 300 million to put a Convention Centre at the Sunsent grounds. More facilities are expected to cater for the over 8000 delegates expected at the conference. Other infrastructural developments under different Ministries are also in the pipeline key among them being, the Lake Front development agenda by the Ministry of Transport, Tourism and Mining and Petroleum. These will include modernization of the Kisumu International Airport, the Kisumu Dry Port and the development of the Special Economic Zone that will play a big role in terms of industrial development.
The Secretary General Jean Pierre was impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by Kisumu said, Kisumu should do its best to convince the team in selecting it as the host city.
“Kisumu should show we were not wrong to have chosen it. Do what it takes to become the role model”.
He further stressed that they want Kisumu branded far more than Kenya as it will bring the lessons to the world on how to elevate the intermediary cities adding that the Sub-nationals have been neglected by most national policies.
Mr. Mbassi also appealed to CS Wamalwa to ask President Kenyatta to convince his colleagues in the African Union to support the UCLGA agenda in their forums.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Nyong’o on his part said in addition to the National Steering Committee led by CS Wamalwa, the county has established the County Organizing Committee and its secretariat and a joint technical committee between the County, Ministry of Devolution and the Council of Governor’s. He called upon the private sector and the Lake Region Economic Bloc counties to get ready and respond to the needs of the delegates by offering world class services such as registration, accommodation, conference facilities and exhibition adding that there is a lot more to gain.
The County Government also presented the Secretary General of UCLGA with a cheque of Kshs. 50,000,000 as a show of commitment in hosting the event. The National Government will also be putting in a huge financial commitment towards the summit.
By: Nancy Juma