NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya has proposed that Africa be delinked from the Middle East when being considered as a “host” for any upcoming World Chambers Congress (WCC) meeting.

Speaking after returning from the WCC General Council Meeting in Beijing where Dubai was unveiled as the 2021 host, Kenya’s bid chairman James Mureu said grouping Africa with the highly developed Middle East region hurts future prospects for countries in the continent ever getting an opportunity to host the WCC global meet.

‘‘While Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry(KNCCI) is among the most vibrant and stable chambers in Africa, competing against a chamber of Dubai’s calibre was no mean feat. We congratulate our competitor Dubai as we stand bold and tall knowing that we made Africa proud,” he said.

Mr Mureu, KNCCI’s vice chairman said Kenya will lobby for Africa to be considered as a standalone block so as to receive enough attention in future.

“The major outcome of KNCCI’s bidding exercise was the decision to put forward a proposal to separate Africa from the middle East. This discussion may happen from 2023 where Africa will have its slot in the rotation,” Mr Mureu said. KNCCI, together with Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, and the Iran Chamber of Commerce emerged as favourite finalists.

Judges checked each country’s chamber’s suitability as co-organisers, logistics abilities, budget and funding, programme innovation and marketing and communication capabilities.

Kenya enjoyed strong rating on being an experienced event organiser where government support was noted as well as regional support from other East African countries.

Kenya’s hopes of hosting the global meet however suffered major setbacks due to its proximity to Somalia, which council members cited as a major concern for their security.

Other members expressed doubt over KNCCI’s ability to fund the global meet.

“The bidding of two countries from Africa also weakened the continent’s competing chances against the Middle East,” stated a council resolution.

The biennial congress, which will be held next year in Brazil, brings together chamber leaders and business professionals from 100 countries to share best practices, exchange insights, develop networks and address the latest issues affecting their respective communities.

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