Rwanda’s top MICE facilities key conference ‘pull factors’

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Some of the delegates at the recently-concluded Coke annual meeting in Kigali. / Donata Kiiza

Easy accessibility, connectivity and the availability of state-of-the art conferencing facilities are some of the aspects that are attracting international summits to Kigali, according to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) chief operating officer, Emmanuel Hategeka.

The latest event was Coca-Cola’s annual continental corporate meeting at the Kigali Convention Centre that attracted about 150 high level Coca-Cola managers from 31 countries across Africa.

This pays dividend to Rwanda’s continued efforts to attract international conferences under its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) strategy that was launched about three years ago. The MICE sector is expected to contribute $64 million this year, up from the $47 million it generated in 2016.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Hategeka said government is banking on the hospitality and tourism sector to drive growth and job creation.

Rwanda has been ranked third after Morocco and South Africa in Africa in terms of capacity to host international meetings.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola is committed to supporting Africa’s growth agenda by investing in new ventures.

“Currently, Coca-Cola is looking to invest in emerging ventures to accelerate its goal to expand the beverage offerings to include juice, dairy products and tea,” Peter Njonjo, the president of the Coca-Cola West Africa business unit, said while speaking at the event. This move would help support Africa’s growth agenda and create new jobs.

The company committed for invest$17 billion in Africa between 2010 and 2020 to expand its capabilities. In addition to upgrading production and route-to-market capabilities, the firm has invested in other strategic initiatives such as the merger of some bottling entities to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, according to Njonjo.