Top 9 Conference Venues in Africa

Top 10 Conference Venues in Africa

Africa’s conference and events industry has experienced significant growth, positioning the continent as a global contender in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) sector.

With its vast size and substantial population, Africa presents an attractive option for hosting major conferences, exhibitions, and corporate events.

These venues offer cutting-edge facilities and infrastructure, enabling them to accommodate events of various sizes.

Kenyatta International Conference Center, Kenya

Kenyatta International Conference Center - Kenya - Source wikipedia
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The Kenyatta International Convention Centre located in Nairobi, Kenya is one of Africa’s most iconic convention centers.

Opened in 1973, it was designed to host the heads of state meeting that founded the Organization of African Unity.

Today, it hosts some of Kenya’s biggest conferences and corporate events.

Some of its key features and facilities include:

  • Plenary hall with a seating capacity of 3,000
  • Over 20 meeting rooms suited for conferences and meetings of all sizes
  • Open exhibition space spanning over 10,000 square meters
  • Onsite 5-star hotel with over 600 guest rooms
  • Strategic location in the central business district of Nairobi

Notable events held:

  • United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
  • World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference
  • African Development Bank Annual Meetings

The KICC is conveniently located 20 minutes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport making it easily accessible for international delegates.

Its iconic architecture and history as a landmark venue in Kenya make it a popular choice for high-level conferences.

Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center, Egypt

Located along the Nile River, the Cairo ICE Center hosts leading conferences and exhibitions in the heart of Egypt’s bustling capital.

Functional since 2002, the facilities and location make it a popular venue choice.

Key amenities:

  • Main hall capacity of over 7,000 delegates
  • Exhibition space spanning 15,000 square meters
  • Over 30 adaptable conference rooms
  • Connected 5-star hotel with 500 rooms

Notable Events Hosted:

  • Africa 2018 Forum
  • Cairo International Book Fair
  • World Youth Forum

Proximity to downtown Cairo, the Nile River, and 5-star hotels gives this venue unique appeal.

Advanced facilities for conferences and exhibitions also make it competitive for hosting large-scale events.

Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa

Sandton Convention Centre - South Africa
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Located in the financial hub of Johannesburg, the Sandton Convention Centre is South Africa‘s premier conference venue.

Since opening in 1973, it has played host to over 21,000 events.

With over 10,000 square meters of flexible meeting space, key features include:

  • Main plenary hall with capacity for 2,800 delegates
  • State-of-the-art auditorium seating 841 delegates
  • 30+ meeting rooms and banquet halls

Notable events:

  • World Economic Forum on Africa
  • COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference
  • 10th BRICS Summit

Situated in downtown Sandton, the Centre is 25km from O.R. Tambo International Airport making it easily accessible.

The construction of the Gautrain rapid rail link has also made connectivity easier for delegates.

The location in the heart of Sandton, Africa’s economic hub, adds to its draw as a premier business conference venue.

Centre International de Conférences Abdou Diouf, Senegal

Located in Dakar, Senegal, the CICAD is the country’s flagship conference center purpose-built to host major events and conferences.

Opened in 2014, the infrastructure integrates state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities and simultaneous translation services.

CICAD is one of the most beautiful conference venues in Africa.

Some key highlights include:

  • Main plenary hall with seating for 3,000
  • Combined exhibition space exceeding 5,000 square meters
  • 17 meeting rooms catering to up to 300 delegates each
  • Onsite parking for over 1,000 vehicles

Notable events held:

  • World Water Forum
  • International Association of Conference Centers Annual Conference
  • Dakar Biennale

The CICAD is located near the new Blaise Diagne International Airport, providing ease of access for international attendees.

The architectural grandeur and latest amenities position it as a world-class center that promotes Senegal as a destination for global events.

Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa

Cape Town International Convention Centre - South Africa
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With its iconic location between Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town ICC is one of Africa’s most beautiful venues.

Opened in 2003, it has hosted over 2,000 conferences and events.

Facilities include:

  • Main plenary hall with a capacity for 2,500 delegates
  • 16 flexible meeting rooms
  • 4,000 square meter exhibition space
  • Onsite 5-star hotel with over 200 guestrooms

Notable events hosted:

  • World Economic Forum on Africa
  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 17/CMP 7
  • Africa Aerospace & Defense Exhibition

Its accessibility is a major draw, only 20 minutes from Cape Town International Airport and close to major hotels and attractions.

Cape Town’s natural beauty provides a stunning backdrop, combined with world-class facilities at the ICC.

Le Palais des Congrès, Morocco

Located in Marrakech, Morocco, Le Palais des Congrès is an iconic convention center hosting events since 1960.

Its unique location, advanced facilities, and proximity to hotels make it a popular choice for conferences.

Key features:

  • Plenary hall seating over 3,000 delegates
  • 17 modular meeting rooms with over 5,000 sqm of space
  • 7,000 sqm of connecting exhibition space
  • Connected to the famous La Mamounia hotel

Notable events:

  • United Nations Climate Change Conference COP22
  • World Bank Meetings
  • Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank

The historic character and convenient location in the heart of Marrakech position this venue well for high-level conferences.

Connectivity, hotels, and advanced infrastructure give it a competitive edge.

Kigali Convention Centre, Rwanda

Kigali Convention Centre - Rwanda - Source wikipedia
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Inaugurated in 2016, the Kigali Convention Centre is Rwanda’s first purpose-built 5-star conference venue.

Its contemporary design and prime location in the heart of downtown Kigali have made it a preferred destination for high-level events.

Key features:

  • Plenary hall seating over 2,600 delegates
  • 16 meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology
  • 4,500 square meter exhibition space
  • Onsite 5-star Radisson Blu hotel

Notable Events:

  • African Union Extraordinary Summit
  • World Health Assembly
  • Transform Africa Summit

Its central location and proximity to the international airport make it easily accessible for delegates.

KCC represents Rwanda’s vision to become a leading MICE destination, using world-class infrastructure.

Eko Convention Centre, Nigeria

Eko Convention Centre - Nigeria - Source wikipedia
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Owned by the Lagos State Government, the Eko Convention Centre is Nigeria’s largest event and conference venue.

Located on Victoria Island, Lagos, the facilities have hosted over 500 events annually since opening in 2013.

Key amenities:

  • Main hall with a capacity for over 5,000 delegates
  • 8 conference rooms seating 500 delegates each
  • 14 meeting rooms accommodating 80-150 delegates
  • Over 10,000 sqm of exhibition space

Notable events:

  • Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference
  • West African Healthcare Exhibition and Conference
  • Social Media Week Lagos

Proximity to local hotels, and entertainment districts and 25 minutes from Murtala Muhammed International Airport make it conveniently located for large conferences.

Its scale and modern amenities position Lagos as a competitive international destination for meetings and conferences.

The Durban International Convention Centre, South Africa

Located on Durban’s beachfront, the Durban ICC is Africa’s leading convention center. Since opening in 1997, it has hosted over 3,500 events attracting 2.5 million delegates.

Key highlights:

  • Plenary hall capacity of up to 12,000 delegates
  • Exhibition and convention space exceeding 21,000 square meters
  • Aruba Ballroom provides 4,500 square meters of space
  • Walking proximity to over 2,000 hotel rooms

Notable events hosted:

  • United Nations Climate Change Conference
  • World Economic Forum on Africa
  • Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings

Its beachfront location, extensive facilities, and range of nearby hotels make it hugely popular for national and international events demanding extensive capacity.

Wrap-Up on the Top Conference Venues in Africa

Africa is a prime destination for hosting world-class events and conferences, showcased by its top convention centers.

These facilities offer advanced amenities, accessibility, and iconic locations across the continent.

With a proven track record of successfully hosting landmark events, Africa now competes globally as a hub for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.

Major African Conference Centers
Name Capacity Exhibition Space (m²) Key Features
Kenyatta International Conference Center 3000 10000 Iconic architecture, onsite 5-star hotel, 20+ meeting rooms
Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center 7000 15000 Located along the Nile River, 30+ adaptable conference rooms
Sandton Convention Centre 2800 10000 Located in Africa’s economic hub, state-of-the-art auditorium
Centre International de Conférences Abdou Diouf 3000 5000 State-of-the-art AV facilities, parking for 1,000+ vehicles
Cape Town International Convention Centre 2500 4000 Iconic location, onsite 5-star hotel, 16 flexible meeting rooms
Le Palais des Congrès 3000 7000 Historic character, connected to La Mamounia hotel
Kigali Convention Centre 2600 4500 Contemporary design, onsite 5-star Radisson Blu hotel
Eko Convention Centre 5000 10000 Largest event venue in Nigeria, 22+ meeting rooms
Durban International Convention Centre 12000 21000 Beachfront location, extensive facilities, proximity to hotels
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