Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o. Various stalled projects including road upgrades have been completed ahead of the Africities summit. [Photo/Africities]
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o. Various stalled projects including road upgrades have been completed ahead of the Africities summit. [Photo/Africities]

Business owners in Kisumu are among the biggest beneficiaries of the 9th Africities summit, which kicked off in the lakeside city on Tuesday, May 17.

The summit brings together local government leaders from around the continent and the world at large alongside other professionals and dignitaries. Top-rated hotels in the city are reporting all-time high bookings.

At least 110 countries are represented at the Kisumu event, by thousands of delegates.

Indicative of the demand, flight ticket prices to Kisumu have also increased by more than double. A one-way Kenya Airways ticket is going for Ksh18,265, up from the usual Ksh8,325 while budget carrier Jambojet is charging Ksh14,000, up from the normal Ksh5,800.

The opening of the international forum was addressed by, among others, President Uhuru Kenyatta African Union (AU) High Representative for Infrastructure and Raila Odinga and African Union Chair Moussa Faki. Big names such as African football legends Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o, now President of the Cameroon Football Association.

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Kenya’s hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o is an official ambassador for the event. The Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o-led Kisumu county government led planning of the event, in collaboration with the national government and other partners.

Various stalled projects were fast-tracked ahead of the summit. They include a fly-over near the Lake Basin Mall and a key road off the Kisumu-Kakamega Highway which had stalled for more than five years.

The Kisumu International Airport was also significantly expanded. Other roads within the city have been upgraded. The works began as early as 2019, before the Covid-19 p******c hit forcing rescheduling of the summit to 2022.

Eateries, restaurants, hawkers and curio sellers are among those enjoying a boom in business as thousands of business tourists enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

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