By Josephine Wawira
The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is booming in Africa, with countries investing millions of dollars to construct or renovate existing conference facilities. This is largely influenced by the recognition of the continent as a preferred tourist destination, not only for leisure but also for business.
The just concluded Meetings Africa Conference that brought together business events representatives from across Africa, is rather a stamp on the continent as the best place to hold conferences and meetings in 2017. Here are five of Africa’s best conference centers for your next event, both international and domestic (in no particular order).
Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) – Kenya
Located in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, KICC as is popularly known has a capacity of 5,000 delegates. Nairobi was voted Africa’s leading Meetings & Conference Destination at the World Travel Awards 2016. In 2014, the Kenyan government announced the construction of the largest convention center in Africa, the Bomas International Conference, and Exhibitions Centre at a cost of approximately $561million. With a 10,000-delegate capacity and 15,000 capacity exhibition space, the center will boost Kenya’s efforts in becoming Africa’s leading conference tourism destination
Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center, Kigali – Rwanda
While this is not purely a conference center on its own, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center, Kigali is creating a buzz in Rwanda’s conference tourism, hosting major international events. The state-of-the-art auditorium that can accommodate more than 2,500 delegates and is only 5 kilometers drive from the Kigali International Airport. Luxury accommodation is available in the hotel, making guests movement seamless during the events/conferences, thus convenience.
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg – South Africa
Whether a mini business meeting with a small delegation, or a 4,500 guests conference, Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg – South Africa is the ultimate destination. It has ample exhibition space of 11,000 square meters on two levels, making it a preference for all kinds of events.
ECA Conference Center, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia
Referred to as Africa’s political capital, Addis Ababa is the home of the ECA (Economic Commission for Africa) Conference Center. It is convenient for leaders holding strategic meetings especially concerning Africa. ECA is a hi-tech and well secured conference center with a touch of Ethiopia’s renowned architecture. It’s situated next to the Africa Hall and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) offices in Ethiopia’s capital.
The Palmeraie International Conference Centre – Morocco
If you are the adventurous kind looking for a sense of aesthetic appeal to your conferences/meetings, then the Palmeraie Conference Center in North African country of Morocco is your best conference destination. Housed in a new-generation palace in the heart of the Palmeraie area in Marrakech, the center is intricately constructed in unique style that blends perfectly with its modern technological installations. It can accommodate approximately 1,500 delegates.