Inside multi-billion international events Rwanda hosted in 2023

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 25 April 2024 at 12:58

2023 was undoubtedly a good year for Rwanda, which hosted over 160 high-profile events that drew delegations from around the world.

Statistics from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) show that the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) recorded a significant growth of 52 percent in 2023 generating revenue of $95 million (RWF 122 billion).

The country hosted 65,000 delegates compared to 35,161 in 2022.

The 73rd FIFA Congress held on March 16, 2023, was one of the notable events held in the capital Kigali. The event brought together more than 1,500 delegates representing 211 FIFA members, head of Confederations and other global players in football.

During the 4th and the first-ever elective FIFA Congress held in Africa, Gianni Infantino was re-elected FIFA President to serve for four more years.

The Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023) was held in Kigali from 17-20 July 2023, where more than 5,000 delegates gathered to advance gender equality.

Additionally, the Giants of Africa Festival took place in Kigali from 13– 19 August 2023. The event brought together more than 300 African youth from 16 countries, who participated in an intensive series of basketball clinics and leadership workshops designed to help them pursue their dreams.

The countries that were represented included Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Somalia, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, South Sudan, Morocco, Cameroon and Mali.

Rwanda also hosted two other major entertainment events in 2023: the Trace Africa Music Awards and Festival, which brought together music, fashion, and arts, giving young and creative talents a global stage to showcase their skills; and The Move Afrika by Global Citizen, which was headlined by the globally renowned artist Kendrick Lamar.

Other notable events were World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Basketball Africa League, Ironman, Cybertech Africa 2023, International Conference on Learning Representation, Africa Health Agenda International Conference, International Congress on Conservation Biology, Mobile World Congress, Global Anglican – GAFCON, nclusive Fintech Forum, Segal Family Foundation and the 19th Kwita Izina Ceremony.

Norrsken African Week Meeting, TIME 100 Summit + Awards, Unleash Rwanda and the Kigali International Peace Marathon were also among notable events hosted in Rwanda in 2023.

RDB, in an annual report unveiled on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, affirmed that the events are a testament to the Rwanda Convention Bureau commitment to position Rwanda as a premier and preferred destination.

“Events such as the 73rd FIFA Congress Meeting and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, which were hosted on the African continent for the first time, underscore Rwanda’s competitive advantage and brand recognition,” RDB stated.