KENYA: By Monday evening, only two out of 26 heads of state who attended the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) were still in Kenya.
One had gone on to the Masai Mara, and the other was inspecting the standard gauge railway (SGR) to pick lessons for his country.
For security personnel, this meant they could take a breather; TICAD VI had gone off without a hitch. Police boss Joseph Boinnet sent out a congratulatory message to the more than 700 local and foreign officers who were involved in securing delegates from Thursday.
FULL OF PRAISE
The more than 10,000 delegates who attended the conference were accommodated in 96 hotels, which meant the officers were spread across the venue of the summit (Kenyatta International Convention Centre), the roads around it and hotels.
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And to support the efforts of a rather stretched Nairobi police force, security personnel and vehicles were sent in from other locations, including the United Nations headquarters.
Officials said officers were booked into some hotels and allowed to access CCTV cameras to ensure security remained tight.
Nairobi traffic police boss Leonard Katana was full of praise for the security team.
“We worked well and it has been a success. Hosting 26 presidents at the same time was no joke and I congratulate all those who made this possible,” he said.
Kenyan security teams worked closely with the security details of visiting heads of state.
When the plans for the summit were mooted last year, a committee was formed to organise it, and it included officials from the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Devolution and Industrialisation. The team was split into various sub-committees, including logistics, budget, security, protocol and liaisons.
Invites were sent out to all 54 presidents of countries who are members of the African Union (AU) by the Foreign Affairs ministry and its co-organisers Japan, the AU Commission, World Bank and United Nations Development Programme.
As the date of the summit drew closer, officials announced the closure of Parliament and Taifa roads, City Hall Way, and Wabera, Mama Ngina and Standard streets.
Delegates began to arrive on Thursday.
“We thank all those who participated in ensuring we succeeded. We can’t name all of them because they include the public,” Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said.