AICC determined to excel in MICE industry in Africa

THE Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) is determined to make Tanzania among the top three in terms of market shares of the conferences in Africa in the next five years from the current fifth position.

According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Tanzania ranks number five in terms of international conference market share in Africa, about ten per cent of all international delegates who visited Africa in year 2022.

The AICC Managing Director, Mr Ephraim Mafuru, said to ensure that Tanzania excels in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry, plans were afoot to develop an integrated satellite city, pitting an International Convention Centre, hospitality, financial and recreation facilities at its landed property in Kijenge within the Arusha CBD.

He said that apart from the proposed construction of the Kilimanjaro International Convention Centre, the Centre plans to develop a wide range of five-star hotels, sports arena, shopping malls and banking services.

“We are determined to have state of the art facilities in our 90.8 acres of land, elevating Arusha and Tanzania not only being a tourism hub in Africa but also a sporting and entertainment enclave,” he said.

Mr. Mafuru further noted that his organisation has all the blessings and good will from the Board, the government to develop the facilities under Public Private Partnership model.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been very keen to see AICC becomes a power house in the MICE industry in Africa. I can’t see anything holding us back from fulfilling the ambition of the Head of State,” he said.

Mr Mafuru also said AICC plans to construct another integrated satellite city with a wider network of facilities, including five-star hotels, shopping malls and sports arena in Zanzibar and later in Dodoma.

Currently, he said, AICC was reviewing its landed property master plan and policies to ensure that they were aligned to the envisaged masterplan.

Mr Mafuru, who was appointed three months ago to be the CEO of AICC following the death of CPA Elishilia Kaaya, said AICC was also determined to revolutionize the MICE industry Tanzania.

Available data from ICCA for year 2022 shows that South Africa was the leading in terms of number of International conference market share in Africa, accounting for 32 per cent of market, followed by Morocco (17 per cent), Rwanda (13 per cent), Egypt (12 per cent) and then Tanzania (10 per cent).

“Convention Centre has one of the strongest forward and backward linkages and enabler of some of the sub-sectors like hospitality, horticulture and destination” saying the linkages provides a wider trickledown effect to the country’s economy.

Within the next one year, he said, AICC is also planning to upgrade the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es salaam to construct a 2000-seating capacity and dining facilities.

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