The secretariat of the ninth edition of Africities Summit has extended accreditation of hotels to the neighbouring counties in Kisumu to accommodate more than 8,000 delegates expected at the lakeside city.
The secretariat for the event to kick off on Tuesday next week said it would also consider facilities in Kakamega, Vihiga and Siaya counties.
Kisumu County Tourism executive Achie Alai also indicated that the Africities secretariat has also identified and vetted individuals operating Airbnbs, homestays and serviced apartments as the city readies for the first summit to be held at an intermediary city.
“We are running out of space and are now forced to look outside Kisumu,” she said during the inaugural briefing to the media at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium.
Ms Alai pointed out that the registered Airbnb operators and homestays would boost their capacity in hosting a large number of guests.
This comes as Nyanza regional commissioner Magu Mutindika assured the participants that security will be enhanced for the private residents that will host extra guests.
“The neighbouring security bosses are being involved and the operation will cover all the corners of this region to guarantee the security of all guests,” he said yesterday.
The expansion of the Kisumu International Airport has boosted the preparations for the summit.
To cater for guests who will commute between Nairobi and Kisumu, Fly Renegade Air Limited last week announced the introduction of return tickets starting from Sh17,400.
The Africities shuttle flight package will operate between Kisumu International Airport and Wilson Airport.
As registration for the conference continues, Ms Alai said, 6,000 delegates had already registered to attend the meeting. To guarantee safety at the summit, she said, only accredited participants would access the venue.
The organisers have also set aside the renovated Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Ground as an entertainment spot.
The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s flagship Pan-African event held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa will be the biggest event that Kisumu has ever hosted.
The summit attracts communities and local authorities in African countries as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international levels.
Kisumu deputy governor Mathews Owili said the event would have a separate session for elders from across Africa at Mama Grace Onyango Hall.
“We are hoping to finish all the preparations on Sunday 15 when local and international exhibitors will be allowed to access their stands,” he said.