NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has stated that Kenya will spend Sh250 million to host the upcoming United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ministerial conference.
The July conference, which comes back to Kenya after 40 years, will bring a delegation of more than 7,000 which will include government officials, entrepreneurs and investors among others.
According to Mohamed, the event will host an investment forum, a civil society forum, a regional group forum and a youth forum among other meetings.
“The expected outcomes of the event include providing a pathway for the international community to mobilise all funds, human and entrepreneurial resources to foster inclusive growth, eradicate poverty and accelerate sustainable development,” said the CS.
“Unlike the World Trade Organisation conference which was all about negotiations, UNCTAD will be about forging policies that facilitate trade and development,” she continued.
The government commenced the preparations for the conference in December 2015 and appointed a multi-stakeholder National Preparatory Committee comprising government officials, private sector, youth and civil society forum.
At the same time, the CS has stated that Kenya is ready to host the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD 6) that is scheduled to take place in the country this August.
The conference, which is a result of Japan’s collaboration with the African Union Commission and the World Bank, is expected to draw a high profile delegation that will include attendance by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and various African heads of state among others.
Mohamed admitted that the government is also bound to spend substantially on the conference but did not give specific figures.
“The benefits of hosting TICAD 6 far outweigh the cost if past TICAD conference benefits are to be looked at,” she said.
The agenda of TICAD 6 will include industrialization, resilient healthcare systems and social inclusion for all societies on the continent.
Additionally, progress made on the agendas earmarked during the last session will be reviewed. These include economic growth, infrastructure development, agriculture and farming.
Also, peace and security on the continent and issues surrounding inclusivity will also be reviewed.
Kenya is therefore set to win big, Mohamed assured.
“The hosting of these conferences will build on the success of hosting the MC10 in December, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit last year and even UNCTAD (4) in 1976 among others thus contribute to the advancement of conference, Economic and Commercial Diplomacy as stipulated in the Foreign Policy.”
She adds that the events will reinforce the country’s profile and cement its position as a global economic and trade player.
The UNCTAD ministerial conference will be held from 17th to 22nd July, while TICAD 6 kicks off on 27th August and ends on 29th of the same month.
[Ruth Nyambura contributed to this article]