• The Executive Committee of Africities moved the date of the summit to 26-30 April 2022 in Kisumu city.
• Eugene said the government has committed Sh1.2 billion to upgrade the Kisumu International Airport by building another terminal.
The ninth edition of Africities Summit which was set for November this year in Kisumu, has been postponed until April 2022.
This is due to some outstanding preparation plans and the Covid-19 safety protocols put in place by the government to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The protocols include controlled travel and ban on large gatherings.
The Executive Committee of Africities on February 17, 2021, convened a virtual meeting and decided to move the date of the summit from November 2021 to 26-30 April 2022 in Kisumu city.
Committee members include Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa secretary-general Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Council of Governors chairman Martin Wambora and Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
Eugene said the government has committed Sh1.2 billion to upgrade the Kisumu International Airport by building another terminal. The upgrade will increase the airport's capacity to about one million passengers annually.
He said the airport was originally upgraded to process 250,000 passengers annually, but demand has grown to 500,000 passengers.
“With the expected number of delegates to the conference, this will pose a challenge. So the government is committing resources to upgrade it.”
The government has also mobilised resources to improve roads leading to the conference venue, he said.
“Through the Ministry of Infrastructure, we are going to improve to bitumen standards a number of roads leading to the ASK Show ground."
A 6,000-seater ultra-modern convention centre will also be built in Kisumu.
“A serious factor to note is the availability of convention facilities in Kenya. The government is committed to opening up Kisumu by virtue of its geopositioning and the entire Lake Region Bloc as a focal point for investments,” Eugene said.
He said Kisumu has over the last three years proved it is indeed the business tourism destination for the future.
The Tourism Regulatory Authority has been mandated to classify Kisumu hotels, restaurants and accommodation facilities and assess whether they meet requirements for specific categories.
This is meant to ensure higher standards are maintained to meet the needs of delegates and other guests.
Robinson Anyal, the Lake Victoria Tourism Association chairman, said the registration is a prequalification process for standardising or grading of hotels in terms of different categories and star ratings.
This will give their owners time to upgrade where necessary.