10,000 delegates descend on city for Ticad meeting
About 10,000 delegates are expected in Nairobi on Friday for the two-day Tokyo International Conference of African Development (Ticad) starting Saturday.
This is the first time the conference will be held outside Japan, which has hosted the last five events.
Attending will be Japanese Premier Shinjo Abe, his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta and some 35 other heads of state and government.
Top United Nations officials including Mr Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the UN Office in Vienna, Ms Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme Administrator and Mr Maged Abdelaziz, the Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, are also attending.
The decision to host Ticad-VI in Nairobi was reached at the last summit in 2013, where it was agreed that the venue of subsequent events would alternate between Japan and Africa.
The interval of meetings was also shortened from five to three years.
Initiated in 1993, the conference seeks to spur international partnerships to promoting development in Africa spearheaded by Japan, the United Nations and the Global Coalition for Africa.
Besides the Japanese Government, the conference’s other organisers, include the United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the African Union Division.
Given the large number of delegates, police have warned that traffic will be disrupted in Nairobi.
Head of Traffic in Nairobi Leonard Katana said several roads in the Central Business District will be closed and motorists diverted to other routes for delegates to have a smooth ride to and from the venue, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
Among those to be closed are Parliament Road between Kaunda Street and Haile Selassie Avenue junction, Harambee Avenue from Uhuru Highway to the junction of Harambee Avenue and Taifa Road and Taifa Road between Harambee Avenue and City Hall Way.
Other roads to be closed are City Hall Way between Uhuru Highway and Moi Avenue, Standard Street between Wabera and Kimathi Street, Mama Ngina Street between Wabera and Simba Street and Wabera Street between City Hall Way and Standard Street.
Police have declared the area between Harambee Avenue, Parliament Road, City Hall Way and Taifa Road a red zone for use only by vehicles ferrying delegates to and from the conference.
Areas around Hilton Hotel and Hotel Inter-Continental, which are hosting a majority of delegates, have also been declared out of bounds for the public.
President Kenyatta and Mr Abe are on Friday morning expected to address a press conference at State House ahead of the forum on Saturday.
The African Union head, President Idriss Deby, of Chad will also address the press conference, signifying the importance of the forum not only to Kenya, but the entire continent.