Construction of the one-of-a-kind 4400-seater Speke Resort Convention Centre is on schedule and will be completed in time for the 19th Summit of th
Construction of the one-of-a-kind 4400-seater Speke Resort Convention Centre is on schedule and will be completed in time for the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held in January 2024 in Kampala, Uganda, Ruparelia Group, the project developers have assured stakeholders.
The Ruparelia Group, is in a joint venture with the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), constructing the state-of-the-art convention centre to not only host the NAM Summit and Followed by G77 China but also boost the country’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) potential and competitiveness. UDC is the investing arm of the Government of Uganda whose mission is to establish and or invest in sustainable investments in areas strategic to Uganda’s social and economic transformation, and prosperity of Uganda.
Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the Group’s Chairman told the media on a tour of the facility, that everything is on course. “Ruparelia Group, through our two subsidiaries, Speke Hotels and Meera Investments, is sparing no effort to ensure that we deliver this key strategic national facility on time,” Dr. Sudhir told the media.
In addition to the 4400-seater auditorium, the convention centre will also have a multipurpose hall, 12 high-end conference/breakaway meeting rooms and a floating restaurant that can host more than 900 guests, with an extraordinary view of Africa’s largest freshwater lake Lake Victoria. The Speke Resort Convention Centre is being developed on a 105-acre luxury resort complex that already has two luxury lake-side resorts Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, also owned by the Group.
The three iconic properties combined, bring to Uganda’s hospitality sector about 40 indoor meeting and banqueting facilities of various sizes, with a capacity to host 19,000 people! This is in addition to several other outdoor venues.
Away from meeting venues, the complex boasts 476 accommodation rooms, including 54 presidential suites and 3 ballrooms. We are not degrading the lake . As part of the larger preparations, the entire facility is also undergoing some indoor and outdoor refurbishments and upgrades. While on the tour, the Group also took media and stakeholders on an on-the-spot fact-finding tour of the entire facility to clarify some online allegations that the Group is refilling Lake Victoria as part of the construction.
“Being adjacent to Lake Victoria is one of the unique attractions of this facility. It is an asset that we guard jealously,” Dr. Sudhir told the media, adding: “Ahead of the August-December rainy season, we are only upgrading and securing (against flooding) of our grounds that were affected by the May 2022 unprecedented rise in Lake Victoria levels.”
It should be remembered that a year of extraordinarily heavy rains, that started in April 2019 pushed the lake’s water level up to 13.4 metres (44 feet) by May 2022, breaking the previous 1964 record, according to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. Even though the lake water levels later receded, Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in May 2023 warned of abnormal rains. Indeed in the same month, there was significant flooding in the Lake Victoria basin, marked but the washing away of the River Katonga bridge on the Kampala-Masaka Road.