7 Reasons Why Kenya Lost Bid to Host World Chamber Congress

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry will lobby for Africa to be considered as a stand-alone regional block apart from the Middle East so as to receive enough attention going forward.

During the last bid Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry competed against three other 2021 Congress finalists: The Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce (Africa); Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Africa) and the Iran Chamber of Commerce (Middle East) for its title as Congress co-organizer.

Each chamber presented its bid live during last month’s WCF General Council meeting, which was held in Beijing. Presentations and official bid books were judged by an international jury comprising WCF General Council members and the ICC Secretary General and Chair.

The four chambers were evaluated on five criteria: chamber suitability as a co-organizer, logistics abilities, budget and funding, congress programme innovation and marketing and communication capabilities.

Kenya bid chairman James Mureu who presented a strong bid on behalf of Kenya said: “While KNCCI is among the most vibrant and stable chambers in Africa, competing against a chamber of Dubai’s caliber was no mean feat. We congratulate our competitor Dubai as we stand bold and tall knowing that we made Africa proud.”

Some of the key areas that were highlighted by the CEOs of the WCF on Kenya’s performance were:


1. Kenya had a good event organizing experience
2. There was a strong engagement with the government of Kenya as seen by the endorsement by H.E the President and the Deputy President
3. KNCCI has strong regional leadership which stood out strongly
4. Accessibility of Nairobi was very strong
5. KNCCI displayed a good mix of speakers and that of the key note speaker
6. Kenya as a destination was very strongly endorsed by all council members
7. Apart from the 30 percent score as the preferred host country all the council members voted Kenya as the next best destination after Dubai meaning that even those who voted for other competitors as their number one choice voted for Kenya as the second choice


1. The congress venue was wanting in terms of space and planning
2. Assurance on security was Kenya’s greatest limitation due to proximity to Somalia
3. KNCCI did not appear to be well funded and thus the congress budget was not well brought out. KNCCI then seemed it could not host the event in case of other options failing
4. KNCCI/Kenya’s support for the least developed countries was also not very clear and the levels of support did not come out clearly
5. KNCCI did not lobby most of the council members to clarify on issues that were not clear to them. There ought to have been more direct appeal to the voting council members, where lobbying was done the council members supported Kenya’s bid
6. Although the diplomatic engagement yielded some fruit it appears to have come too late
7. The bidding of two countries from Africa also weakened Africa’s competing chances against the Middle East
“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 concludes.

Lauding the bid committee KNCCI National Chairman Kiprono Kittony said: “I commend the bid committee that did a commendable job that has demonstrated Kenya’s capability of competing with the World’s best as well as positioning the private sector in Africa.”

While deliberating on the efforts of competing chambers throughout the bidding process, WCF Chair Peter Mihok said the edition’s deliberations were incredibly difficult with each chamber having exhibited distinctive strengths.

“The four chambers came with such passion and enthusiasm and each brought their own unique strengths. To that end, each chamber is a winner in many ways. Although only one can co-organize the Congress, the global recognition and respect that each of our finalists receives from their peers worldwide—as well as from within their local communities—brings immense pride and a lasting legacy that will impact positively on all their actions and opportunities in years to come,” says WCF Chair Peter Mihok.

The 11th edition of the World Chambers Congress will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 12-14 June 2019, and is co-organized by the Brazilian Commercial and Business Associations (CACB). Registration is slated to open in June 2018.