Now in its fiftieth year, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has for years become an iconic monument that reflects Kenya’s pride and vision for progress.
The conference facility of the building has assumed a more important role as the East African country has turned attention to MICE as a key driver of tourism growth.
As the clock winds down to KICC’s golden jubilee in September, newly appointed Acting CEO of the Centre, Patricia Ondeng’ shared in an interview with VoyagesAfriq, her commitment to restoring KICC to its former glory.
“Being that it is an iconic institution, it is going to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, therefore what we are looking at refurbishing it back to its former glory. We are hoping that by the end of this financial year, we would have started,” she stated on the margins of this year’s Meetings Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
While the rehabilitation works are not going to result in major changes to the building, Ondeng’ maintained that the plan is to reinstate KICC’s status as a historical architecture of national importance.
“For us, we are not going to change anything major because it is an iconic building, it’s historical, it’s part of Kenya; it is actually, Kenya. KICC is the eye of Kenya, so we will bring it back to its former glory, the Acting CEO emphasised.
In its latest Annual Tourism Sector Performance Report for 2022, MICE contributed 27.2% of international arrivals to Kenya. Ondeng’ postulated that with new strategies being pursued, the KICC would play a significant role in ramping up the numbers as the country also embarks on a new direction for the MICE industry.
She explained, “We are looking at the new modern way of doing things with the conferencing package. Probably we need to introduce online marketing as well, so that we can adapt to the needs of emerging business delegates.
“We are also, looking at devolving MICE, going to the counties, teaching them about MICE. We just don’t have to have MICE at KICC in Nairobi, but we want to go as far into the counties and with our new system of government, we want to make sure we build capacities.”
This article was first published in the March 2023 issue of VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine