Africa: Uganda Wins Bid to Host Africa Blood Transfusion Conference

Uganda has won the bid to host the next conference of the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion set for March,1 to 4, 2024.

Uganda won after its bid through the Uganda Blood Transfusion Society with the technical help of Uganda’s

Convention Bureau, a unit in Uganda Tourism Board(UTB) emerged the best.

Commenting about the development, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said apart from contributing to the country’s GDP to a tune of about $0.6 million, the conference will also attract approximately 500 delegates with 75% to come

from across the African continent and 25% outside Africa from international markets including Europe and Asia.

“We are working relentlessly to ensure Uganda becomes a conference destination market. This is an indicator that the efforts have begun to bear fruit. Uganda Convention Bureau’s target between 2022 and 2025 is to attract 130 business events in the region with a value of US$ 100 million to Uganda through such bidding activities,”Ajarova said.

“This certainly should be the beginning of making Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) a key product for the country.”

According to the UTB boss, in 2019, the International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA) had ranked Uganda sixth in Africa for hosting international association conferences and the target was to improve Uganda’s ranking to be among the top five destinations in Africa.

Through the Uganda Convention Bureau, UTB partners with different ministries, departments and agencies, professional associations and universities to increase business events through the bidding process.

The Bureau targets regional and international government and non- government conferences that are held periodically and rotate across the globe in order to contribute to the economic impact of Uganda.

The UTB Board Chairman Daudi Migereko underscored the need to ensure Uganda becomes a major hub for conferences in the region and pledged support for mainstream policies that enable the meeting, incentives, conferences and events function under UTB well equipped to deliver on its mandate.

According to the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, this is an opportunity for Uganda to showcase what it can do.

“UBTS pledges to make this a successful event with support from the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders. By hosting this congress, the UBTS shall benefit through participation in scientific write-ups,

medical research and knowledge exchange thereby gaining recognition for the contribution to science,” she noted.

The Uganda Tourism Board recently started an initiative to tap into international conferences in a bid to increase the number of people visiting the country’s tourist attractions.

“In the past Uganda has been hosting many international conferences where delegates fly into the country but leave without spending anything here because they are transported by the organisers from the airport and hotels booked for them,” Bradford Ochieng, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for UTB said last year.

Through the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions(MICE) all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be tasked by UTB to provide a list of conferences that they would wish to either host or attend outside the country to allow for preparation and planning on how to sell Uganda as a top tourist destination.

UTB hopes to tap into the rebirth of the Uganda Airlines to ensure visitors to Uganda can have direct and convenient flights to Entebbe.

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