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To Make Kenya A MICE Destination
We Have To Improve Road Mobility 

Coastweek -- We have had the Sustainable Blue Economy conference in Kenya for the better part of this working week, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

Hosted by Kenya, Canada and Japan, the conference will be attended by over twelve thousand people from one hundred and eighty countries out of the over two hundred nations in the world.

The actual number of nation states in the world is a debatable number and I invite experts to tell me exactly how many there are.

Having checked with a few people it depends on whether you are the United Nations, FIFA, the International Olympics Committee or otherwise.

Each comes up with a different number so there must be a case for standardising what a country means so that we can have a definitive number.

Over to the International Standards Organisation to cobble up a number. I digress.

The matters discussed at the conference and resolutions will be the subject of a discussion on this column in a few weeks but the focus this week is the impact that this conference has had on mobility within our capital city.

I will start with the experience of a friend of mine who I was supposed to meet in an early morning engagement in Westlands.

As the meeting was scheduled for seven o’ clock in the morning, she decided she would check Google maps to work out the best route to get to Westlands.

She was coming from Karen. 

Being early in the morning and relying on historical data, the indication was to go straight through the centre of town which was the shortest route by distance and also by time …… according to Google.

Traditional wisdom was to take the Southern bypass towards Kikuyu and then come in to Westlands on the Nakuru road.

She left home and on getting towards the Junction Mall, the traffic screeched to a halt.

She then took out her phone to check which route she should go through.

She was offered options that looked to be relatively free on Google but when she got there she found traffic backed up as well.

She ended up making it to the meeting three hours after the scheduled time.

Someone else who was due at the meeting and came from roughly the same direction used common logic and decided to use the Southern bypass.

He made in forty five minutes.

This is indicative of what happens whenever we have a major event in town.

These delays in getting around town do not only affect locals but also the delegates who come to attend the conference.

Currently, because of the “attractiveness” of the location Kenya, people will come for conferences despite the inconveniences of getting around town.

If we are to make Kenya the “go to” MICE destination then we will have to seriously improve the mobility that we offer delegates.

The traffic that we have in the Central Business Districts of the various conference towns is getting unwieldy.

If we are to continue hosting the large conferences – SKAL in Mombasa, Blue Economy and others in Nairobi – then we really have to plan our city transport better.

We have had great ideas like creating a Metropolitan Authority whose key purpose was to drive development and management of the two large cities so that they are moving towards creating a great living experience in their centres and suburbs.

The key development was the transport infrastructure as well as the living infrastructure.

For Nairobi we have had the great noise about the BRT or Bus Rapid Transport System which was announced with the rapid painting of red lines on the Thika Highway.

Since the painting of the lines early this year nothing has happened.

But even this will not really sort out the mess that we have in the city centre when large numbers of people come in and they have to be transported in normal vehicles or in small buses.

The congestion that was experienced in the course of this week will continue to happen till we have Mass Rapid Transit systems (bus, trams, or underground) that can move people in large quantities within and in and out of the city centres.

MICE will not continue to be attracted to Kenya once the novelty value wears off and we have to compete with better organised cities – like Kigali which is already making a dent in the attractiveness of Nairobi as a MICE location.

As Kachumbari says, if we are to Make It Kenya we have to make Kenya first!




Graffiti - A Great Feature of Matatus Is Being Replaced Gradually With Simple Caricatures 

The Relative Costs Of Road Safety In Kenya Should Not Be An Issue Or Even Discussed 

An Awkward Encounter As Diplomatic Air Hostess Sorts Out Difficult Mile High Club Grope Situation

People Always Look Around Them At Regular Intervals - Because That Is How We Are Made

Confused Clergyman Caught Up In Nairobi Self Serving Soap Drama ...

Road Planning Should Extend Beyond Our Borders And Into Countries Within East African Community

All Our Airports Disappoint In One Way Or Another ... My Biggest Beef Is The Toilets

Seat Belt Requirements Are Never Simply Gimmicks: They Are Potentially Lifesaving

Upgrade Of Roads From Both Mariakani And Mazeras To Kilifi Will Radically Improve North Coast Access Options

Drivers Are Living In Interesting Times With Return Of Boys In Blue Together With Their 'Breathalysers'’

Driver’s Worst Nightmare - Parking In Restricted Space With A Queue Of Hooting ‘Know Nothings’

Parking Dilemna: When The Lady Driver Decided To Go Ahead With What She Had Been Avoiding!

‘Safeboda’ From Uganda Has Been Recently Launched In Kenya After Very Successful Trial

Yes, Green Cities Need Trees And Plants But Watch Out What Happens With Roots

The Law Of Unintended Consequences And Unexpected Paternity In A Foreign Country!

Our Policy Heads Need To Fully Consider The Human Cost to Continuing Coast Demolitions

Corruption: Only Time Will Tell Who The True Sons Of This Nation Are?

An Unlucky Visitor Caught Up In The CBD, Hard To Find A Toilet

Business of Public Lavatories leaving a bad smell in the air

We Need A Radical Changes To How We Manage The Important

We Need To Completely Re-Examine How We Manage Our Public Transport

‘Boda Boda’s Done Right Could Be An Important Carriage System

Anarchy Is Never Solution To The Very Real Danger From Massing

Gazzillions - There Was Probably Some 100 Plus Million Shillings Involved Here

Where To Park Cattle, Horses, Donkeys, Yaks, Llamas, And So Forth ...

Most Drivers Treat Matatus With Caution And Daring Matatu Drivers Love This!

Even Seemingly Difficult Interventions Can Often Reap Welcome Results

Agencies Who Manage Disaster Need To Seriously Review Both Operations

Motorists Must Face Up To Dangers Of Submerged Hazards

Flooding: The Drainage Is Clogged - Most Have Not Been Cleaned For Years!

Creative Painters Have Turned Kenya Vehicle Art Into A Sophisticated Industry

Most Of The Coastal Tribe Of Matatu Is Of The 14 Seater Body Type

Matatu Apps. No Longer Act As Exhaust Brake Components

SACCOs were seen as a first step in getting sanity back

In Western: Matatus Driven Mainly By Function

Just Focussing On Enforcing Existing Laws For Six Months - Major Change?

My Adventure In A Busia Matatu On its Way To ‘Kisumu International’ Airport!

Some One Hundred Plus Officers Taking Bribes Were ‘Sacked’

Popular Slogan Harambee Is Always About Raising Money

Visitors Marvel At The Cleanliness Of Kigali City and even over Rwanda

Police Appear To Recognise Motoring Novices Breaking The Law!

Kenyan Traffic Bribes: System Should Begin To Operate Smoothly

Road accidents cost us three hundred billion Kenyan shillings yearly

Authorities Should All Jump In To Solve Driving Woes In This Country

Drivers Who Fail To Remove Road Rubbish Once Vehicle Is Repaired

Examination Methods Now Used To Teach Driving Needs an Overhaul

Most Sane Drivers Fear Every Time A PSV Appears Near Their Vehicle

Attempt To Level Playing Field During Political Campaigns Rubbished

Kenya Bus Service Went Bust Due Onslaught Of The Matatu Industry




Remember: you read it first at !

  This year’s rally will be
flagged off at Sarova
Whitesands on November
23rd and finish at the same
venue on December 1st.


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