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041 4342196 utb@utb.go.ug

UCB Showcases Uganda’s MICE Potential at Meetings Africa 2024

Uganda Convention Bureau (UCB), a unit under Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has showcased Uganda’s vast potential in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) sector at Meetings Africa 2024.

Led by the CEO Lilly Ajarova, the UTB team also presented Uganda’s impressive tourism offerings to a large global audience of meeting planners, conference organizers, travel agents, buyers and other industry professionals.

This two-day Pan African Business and Trade show commenced on February 27th 2024, at the Business Conference Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The summit aimed to provide a market access platform for Africa’s business products in the MICE arena, with a goal of expanding leisure tourism and business events opportunities.

It attracted a significant number of exhibitors, approximately 380 from 63 countries, of which 21 were African countries. Additionally, there were 350 local and international buyers and 20 international media representatives. This highlighted Africa’s capabilities in hosting business events, offering new venues, business opportunities and activities for the incentive market.

Exhibitors emphasized the importance of building business relationships across the continent, intended to help grow their businesses through imports and exports. Participants ranged from hoteliers, tour operators, destination marketing companies and technology companies.

The event provided an avenue for industry stakeholders to network, exchange ideas, and gain insights into the industry trends. It also aimed to empower young individuals aspiring to enter the business and events industry.

In her remarks, the UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova underscored the event’s significance to Uganda, as a platform to highlight the country’s position as a leading destination for business events in Africa, on top of showcasing its rich tourism offerings.

“This year’s event presents an opportunity for Uganda Tourism Board to showcase Uganda’s unique tourism offerings to a global audience of meeting planners, travel agents, and other industry professionals. It is also a chance to highlight Uganda’s position as a leading destination for business events in Africa. In January, Uganda hosted two international summits, the 19th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Heads of State and Government, as well as the Third South Summit organized under the framework of Group of 77 and China. We welcome the world to the upcoming Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) to be held in Uganda from May 23-25, 2024, under the theme: Responsible Tourism,” She affirmed.

Mellon Tukeikiriza, a senior MICE officer at UTB explained how the newly unveiled convention center at Speke Resort Munyonyo will act as a springboard of socio-economic transformation for Uganda.

 “This is an industry that offers opportunities to so many companies, the professional conference organizers, destination marketing companies, IT companies because it is a huge sector that is actually growing and for the case of Uganda, we have just unveiled a new signature facility that can host up to 4000 delegates and over 33 breakout sessions, so that alone offers a lot of opportunities to the business community,” Said Tukeikiriza.

Patricia de Lille, the South African Tourism Minister highlighted that trade show signaled Africa’s readiness to host exceptional events, a crucial factor in boosting business tourism on the continent hence contributing to the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

“It is an important opportunity for us to show that Africa is ready for business, Africa is ready for tourism, to show the potential of the continent as a whole, even though we are competing, but today we are together as Pan Africanists to show that beauty of our continent,” said De Lille.

Meetings Africa, the annual Pan African Premier Trade Show has been in existence for 18 years and this marks the 17th occurrence of the show. It was halted in 2021 due to the impact of Covid 19 restrictions.

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