Kisumu Airport expanded, roads carpeted as Africities meet starts

Preparations at Mamboleo on May 15, 2022. in readiness for the 9th Africities Conference to be held in Kisumu from May 17 to 21. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Kisumu has witnessed major infrastructural transformation as the ninth Africities summit starts today.

The preparations that started in 2019 have seen a massive upgrade in the city’s look. Roads and other transport systems have also been upgraded.

The county government in collaboration with various partners including the national government and donors has improved the city’s infrastructure. On Monday, a key road off the Kisumu-Kakamega Highway whose completion had stalled for more than five years was completed.

The road has been at the centre of controversy, as authorities heaped blame on each other over its deplorable state.

The road is now completed, with streetlights and a fresh carpet. A worker at the site told The Standard they were under strict instructions to complete the road on time. Another stretch connecting the airport to Mamboleo has also been tarmacked.

Both Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration and the national government believe the infrastructure upgrade will send a message of confidence to potential investors.

Although the summit will take place in dome tents, the construction of a multimillion-shilling ultramodern conference centre in Kisumu is at an advanced stage.

The conference centre is expected to serve Kisumu for several years to come and is expected to promote tourism and cultural events in the lakeside city.

In a recent interview with the government Spokesman Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, The Standard said: “The government is committed to improving all the spheres of development, including sports and tourism, and the conference centre comes in handy in achieving this goal.”

At the Kisumu Airport, the government has invested a Sh240 million upgrade project. The VIP section has been expanded to accommodate more passengers while an additional lounge was built.

KAA is also racing against time to complete the extension of the current passenger terminal at Kisumu Airport to provide an additional boarding gate and arrivals hall. On Thursday, the facility got an Aerodrome Certificate to boost safety and its ability to handle international flights. The certificate was awarded by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

Currently, the airport handles more than 30 flights every day but the numbers are expected to increase during the Africities conference tipped to attract about 10,000 guests.

On Monday, the airport was a beehive of activity as several high-profile guests started arriving in the city. Among the first visitors to arrive include immediate Former President of the Republic of Seychelles Danny Faure who was received by Prof Nyong’o.

Apart from the airport, the county government has also removed structures that were built along sewer lines. Governor Nyong’o is buoyed by a number of strategic planning policies to shape Kisumu as an investors’ paradise.