Kenya: NMG Enters Partnership With Kisumu County for Kusi Festival

2 December 2020

The Nation Media Group (NMG) has signed a partnership with the Kisumu County government, which will host this year's Kusi Ideas Festival.

The conference, which opens on Tuesday next week, will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual sessions.

This will be the second edition of Kusi Ideas Festival after the inaugural one was held in Kigali, Rwanda, last year.

The theme of the NMG-sponsored conference is, Towards a Post-Covid Africa: Recovering Together.

"NMG's partnership with the County Government of Kisumu began during the inaugural edition of Kusi and we are honored and delighted that you have accepted to partner with NMG once more to host this second edition of the Kusi Ideas Festival," NMG Chief Executive Stephen Gitagama said on Wednesday during the signing of the partnership.

Kisumu governor Prof Anyang' Nyong'o said the county is excited to host this year's festival.

"Africa must rise up and show the world that there is a solution for this pandemic. We are the right people to discuss the challenges being faced," Prof Nyong'o said.

Prof Nyong'o said the county has donated Sh5million to support the conference, in addition to playing the host role.

Last year the county sponsored the festivals by donating Sh10million.

The two-day event will start on December 8 and end on December 9, 2020.

Mr Gitagama said the conference will examine the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on African economies and livelihoods.

It will examine Africa's resilience against the pandemic, and project how to emerge from the crisis.

Key speakers

Among the key speakers in this year's festival will be President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will also be the key note speaker, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, ODM party leader Raila Odinga, who is also the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary General, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi.

Other speakers will include Mr Nathalie Munyampenda CEO, Kepler - Rwanda, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Khazanah Research Institute, Senior Adviser - Malaysia, Matsi Modise, Founder and CEO, Furaha Afrika Holdings - South Africa, Dr Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director, African Population and Health Research Center - Uganda, Dr Ally-Said Matano, Secretary of the EAC, Lake Victoria Basin Commission and Mr Mike Mukula, Uganda, Chairman of Mahathi Infra Uganda Ltd - Uganda.

Mr Gitagama said 1,200 delegates have so far registered from across the world, with most confirming that they will attend the conference virtually.

"We expect between 200-300 delegates to attend the conference physically, we have ensured that all the Covid-19 protocol measurers will be observed," he said.

The inaugural Kusi conference in Kigali attracted more than 80 speakers and 1,600 delegates from five continents.

They included President Kagame, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa Union Commission Chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat and Mr Odinga among others.

"Last year's festival was covered widely by media across Africa and had a large social media engagement averaging 500 million impressions, we are hoping the numbers will go higher during this year's conference," said Mr Gitagama.

The Kusi Ideas Festival seeks to build a "Pan-African ideas transaction market" to capitalise on the opportunities and innovations available to Africa to help her win in the 21st Century.

"This is in line with our vision of being the "Media of Africa for Africa", which aims to contribute to shaping the agenda that will enable Africa to be a leading player in global politics and economics," said Mr Gitagama.

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