By Edwin Muhumuza
Uganda has been ranked the sixth most popular destination in Africa for hosting international conferences and events in the 2019 statistics report released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). ICCA represents the world’s leading association for the global meetings, conference and events industry.
The rank is a four point advancement from the 2018 report where Uganda ranked 10th.
Uganda has over the last 5 years ranked consistently in the top 10 African destinations for hosting international conferences and events. The rankings are based on the number of association meetings taking place regularly, rotating between at least three different countries and with 50 participants.
According to the UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, Uganda in 2019 hosted 22 association meetings including the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference, 8th African Population Conference, Africa Now Summit, 4th African Judicial Dialogue and the 2nd Congress of the African Primatological Conference; among others all which attracted a variance of domestic, regional and international visitors and contributed to the rankings that currently place Uganda as a top Meeting and Events destination in Africa.
“In 2020, Uganda had organized and was scheduled to host a number of notable conferences and meetings that had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These included among others; the G77 summit, Africa Climate week, World Health Summit, CBR World Congress and the AfrAA Conference,” Ajarova explained.
She highlighted that many of these conferences have been rescheduled to take place in 2021 pending confirmation of the dates as the COVID-19 pandemic is examined and travel restrictions reviewed.
“As Uganda continues to grow its MICE industry, the next few years will see our association meetings increase as the world normalizes in the post COVID era,” Ajarova said.
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria.
Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.