Revolutionising event standards for Africa | The Planner

The event industry across Africa is taking significant strides to integrate international standards, customising them to meet the continent’s specific needs. This morning, a cooperation agreement was signed between SACIA and UACII aimed at enhancing industry standards and collaborations within Africa. It aims to elevate local event standards to global competitiveness while addressing regional particularities.

Tailoring global standards for local impact

African industry professionals understand the limitations of adopting frameworks from regions like the US and UK, which may not seamlessly translate to the African context. This awareness has spurred efforts to develop standards that resonate more effectively with Africa’s unique landscape. For instance, initiatives have been launched to bring international expertise to enhance the quality and safety of local marathons and sports events, ensuring they operate under globally recognized protocols.

Collaborative training and expertise-sharing

The commitment to raising industry standards is evident through collaborative training programmes, such as those recently launched in Kampala. These aim to elevate local event management to international levels of excellence. Contributions from global experts, including seasoned professionals from Australia, play a pivotal role in these initiatives, offering local teams a wealth of knowledge and best practices in event management.

The rigorous adoption of standards significantly impacts the entire continent, enhancing the professionalism and safety of the industry within individual countries and boosting Africa’s profile as a prime destination for international events. By ensuring consistent and high-quality management across the continent, Africa can attract more international conferences and events, thereby boosting economic opportunities and cultural exchanges.

Kevan Jones from SACIA in conversation with Peter Kagawa from UACII.

A unified standard for continental excellence

The ultimate goal is to establish a cohesive set of standards that all African nations can adopt, ensuring any event hosted on the continent meets high-safety, quality, and professional standards. This unified approach will reassure international stakeholders of the continent’s capability to host world-class events, fostering growth in tourism and international business engagements.

By adapting international standards to better fit the African context SACIA and UACII are not only positioning the continent’s event industry to compete globally but also to excel, making Africa a key player in the international event and tourism sectors.


The Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) is a SAQA-recognised professional body active in the entertainment and communications industry across Southern Africa. SACIA is specifically designed to promote the adoption of professional standards and ethical business practice. It aims to further the interests of its members through partnerships and representation on various issues.

The Association awards several designations based on an individual’s education, work experience, and business ethics. Those applying for a designation also participate in a competence assessment – either by writing an online exam or providing a portfolio of evidence that supports their claim of competence. SACIA is a member-driven organisation. It is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the members, with an Executive Director and support staff appointed to manage the association’s activities.


UACII was launched in Kampala in mid-2018 with the objective of becoming the recognised professional association for Uganda’s MICE industry, serving as ‘the voice of MICE’. The membership of UACII includes qualified, specialist MICE companies encompassing hotels, venues, Professional Conference Organisers, Destination Management Companies, and other service providers. UACII is committed to leading, facilitating, and developing Uganda’s business tourism competitiveness and commercial sustainability. In collaboration with the Uganda Convention Bureau (UCB) and other key industry stakeholders, UACII aims to ensure the growth of the MICE business in Uganda.

UACII strives to be acknowledged both nationally and internationally as the association representing Uganda’s best-in-class MICE professionals. It sets and accredits professional standards within Uganda’s MICE industry and contributes to marketing Uganda as a prime MICE destination. Furthermore, UACII promotes professional development, certification, and industry relationships with both local and international associations like SITE, MPI, EIC, ICCA, and PCMA, fostering a platform for members to exchange innovative ideas and conduct business. The association is dedicated to increasing its visibility and growing its membership across the country, adhering to core values of professionalism, integrity, collaboration, and fair competition among members.