Local traders can afford a smile in the wake of booming business at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports ground currently hosting local and international exhibitors during the 9th Africities summit underway in Kisumu city.
The long awaited Africities Summit commenced on Tuesday May 17 with the official opening by President Uhuru Kenyatta with a business exhibition held at the grounds located in the Lakeside City’s CBD targeting local residents.
The exhibition brought together male and female traders drawn from across the country and neighbouring member states of the East African Community (EAC).
Police officers also had their hands full as they kept patrolling the ground to guard against criminals who may have planned to disrupt the important event.
“Our role primarily is to provide security, supervise the flow of both local and international exhibitors alongside wananchi who thronged the centers,” an officer explained.
“Guests in and out of the ground are guided on where to go. Nobody is barred from attending this event,” Duncan Otieno, a county askari, said.
A few meters away was Stella Asiago, a jewelry seller from Mombasa, who was busy arranging her wares in expectation of making good profit.
“I chose this spot because it is near the path which everyone who comes in follows. We hired these tents at Sh25, 000 each for 5 days. I am hopeful that by the end of the summit, I will be able to make enough profit,” she said.
The sports ground had banners of different companies displaying their products which included; food, vehicles, machines jewelry, African attires, shoes paintings among others.
“I came here yesterday but the tents were not ready so I was not able to present my items. I believe that business is going to be good because these jewelry pieces are made of Senegalese stones which are of high quality,” said a middle-aged woman in dreadlocks.
Beside her was another tent hosting a Tanzanian flag with three women selling their unique clothing lines called in Swahili deras which are very common in the region.
“We were able to know about this event, thanks to the media. Tanzania is known for good quality deras which we are here to sell to those attending this exhibition,” said one of them who only identified herself as Amina.
Meanwhile, police sirens and honking vehicles were heard on the main road just outside the venue signifying the arrival of even more officials attending the summit in Mamboleo.
By Queen Edel and Rosebellah Kunga