, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – The World Trade Organization (WTO) secretariat says it is so far, satisfied with the preparations of the tenth Ministerial Conference to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from Tuesday next week.
WTO Deputy-Director General David Shark who is already in the country says the leadership has seen a lot commitment from the Kenyan government and the private sector since Kenya was announced the host last year.
Shark says they have been working with the government and involved organizers and he is optimistic that the event will run successfully as planned.
“One of the things that has struck since Kenya won the bid is the commitment to host this conference which extends from the very top; the President, and throughout the country. So as far as we are concerned on logistics, we will be ready when the delegation begins to arrive in just a few days,” Shark said.
The 10th Ministerial Conference will be the first one held in Kenya and the continent since the organisation was established in 1995.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said all the arrangements expected by the WTO prior to the conference are all set.
She says the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) still remains the place to host one of the most crucial global forum from, the 15 to 18 of this month.
“I am completely and fully satisfied that everything has been done, to ensure that the arrangements that we were entrusted with by the international community, by the 161 members of WTO, have gone well, that we are ready as a country, that we can actually be extremely proud to have been able to do this,” CS Mohamed said.
Kenya won the bid to host the 10th conference scheduled after member countries of the WTO unanimously made the decision following intense lobbying by the Kenyan government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The WTO meeting comes a few months after the host of the Global Entrepreneur Summit lead by US President Barrack Obama and as Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala puts it, this will be a big win for his sector which has recently suffered due insecurity challenges.
Balala, terming the conference which is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates from all over the world with, as one of the showcase of Kenya’s preparedness on conference tourism.
“We expect almost 2,500 delegates, 1000 media and NGO coming in, almost 200 staff of WTO who are going to work around in the next 5 days and we have our own Kenyan delegates totalling to almost 7,000,” Balala said.
They were speaking on Thursday while handing over KICC to WTO to kick off the last set-ups at the centre ready for the meeting.
The conference is expected to inject about Sh2.6 billion into the Kenyan economy.