Kampcon 2028 Bids for a Worldcon in Uganda

The Kampcon 2028 bid to hold a Worldcon in Kampala, Uganda stepped up its publicity this week. Full information about the group is at their website: Kampcon 2028 – Connect to fiction & fantasy fans, talent and stories in Africa.

Micheal Kabunga, Coordinator of the bid, provided File 770 with this summary of information about their project in a Smofcon-style Q&A format.


Name of Convention:

Kampcon: The 86th World Science Fiction Convention

What dates will your convention run?

August 23-27, 2028

What is your proposed convention host city? Is your convention site in a city center location or a suburb? If a suburb, what are the transport options into the city centre? How far is the site from the city centre?

Kampala Uganda. Our site is in an area on the northern shores of Lake Victoria and part of the metropolitan area of Kampala. It located only 12 km from the centre of Kampala connected by the express highway to Entebbe Airport

What are your main facilities? How far are your hotels from your main venue?

Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, is a 5-star luxury resort located 12km away from the capital city Kampala. Spread across 90-acres, the lavish estate lies on the shores of Lake Victoria and stands as the definitive pinnacle to opulent living, state of the art conference centre, multi leisure eco-tourism and a popular convention destination with a multi-cuisine restaurant and an array of leisure activities. Comprising of 472 luxury Deluxe, Superior, Executive, Presidential Suites and Presidential Cottages, Speke Resort Munyonyo is surrounded by sweeping and idyllic views over well-manicured landscaped gardens. The conference centre comprises of 19 state-of-the-art indoor conference rooms, three grand ballrooms, three large outdoor spaces which can hold up to 8000 guests within our bespoke marquee. The conference centre is installed with modern conferencing equipment, air con and state of art AV equipment.

Who is your bid chair? Who is on your committee? What experience do they have in general? In running Worldcons?

  • Bid Chair:  Kabunga Micheal
  • Vice Chair: Magala Simon Peter

Committee

  • Events: Mrs. Mwanje Easter, Mugabe Moses Wanyama
  • Exhibits: Kayondo John,Segawa Steven
  • Facilities: Mudaama Juluis Butamanya
  • IT: Isaac Kiwanuka, Nsimbi John Bosco
  • Legal: Mutyaba Charles Reagan
  • Promotions: El-Shadai Wonderful, Kawooya Sharif Ssebunya
  • Publications: Namirembe Juliet Mayinja
  • Registration: Nabuguzi Jessica, Nakalema Grace
  • Timeline: Matale Brandon
  • Facilitation: Kayongo Ismael
  • Treasurer: Ndugga Lawrence
  • Volunteers: Amoit Christine
  • Chair’s Advisory Group: Dorothy Tomkins, Steven Sanyi Masaaba, Anita Nanozzi Seruwagi, Hon. Kiyaga Hillary Innocent, Andrew Walakila, Hellen Mundaka, Ceasar Senkatuka.

[In Micheal Kabunga’s email to File 770 he added: “A previous version of this news article erroneously identified a prominent Worldcon Bid veteran as someone involved with Kampcon as a committee / board member. We have since been informed this is incorrect, and while they were initially happy to offer advice they have since ceased to be involved with Kampcon in any capacity.”]

If known, who will be the chair of the convention? What experience do they have?

This will be announced when we file the bid.

Have you agreed to participate in Pass-Along Funds? Would you be willing to increase the percentage from 50% to 70% of surplus?

Yes we will participate in Pass-Along Funds. The Board of Directors will consider the increase.

What is the typical current airfare to your closest airport from world cities such as London, Boston, Dublin, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Brisbane etc.?

Based on Expedia searches done in November 2021 for August, 2022:

  • Amsterdam: from $1005
  • Boston: from $1230
  • Tokyo: from $1700
  • Chicago: from $1100
  • Dallas: from $1475
  • Dublin: from $1350
  • London: from $800
  • Los Angeles: from $1153
  • Paris: from $640
  • New York: from $1150
  • Tokyo: from $870
  • Frankfurt: from $950

Do international flights, as well as domestic, fly into your local airport? Which airlines? If not, where is the closest international airport? Are direct flights from the cities above flown into your local airport?

The main entry point for flights into Uganda is Entebbe International Airport (EBB)

  • Delta Air Lines.
  • Turkish Airlines.
  • KLM.
  • United Airlines.
  • Brussels Airlines.
  • Emirates.
  • Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Lufthansa.

What hotel(s) are being used for the convention? How many rooms, what type, do they accommodate accessibility needs, etc.?

Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort located 12km away from the capital city Kampala , and 37km from Entebbe airport, Comprising of 472 luxury Deluxe, Superior, Executive, Presidential Suites and Presidential Cottages, 19 state-of-the-art indoor conference rooms, three grand ballrooms, three large outdoor spaces which can hold up to 8000 guests within our bespoke marquee. The conference centre is installed with modern conferencing equipment, air con and state of art AV equipment.

We intend to arrange over flow accommodation in Entebbe and Kampala both cities connected to the main venue by the express highways.

What are your hotel room rates? Do these rates include breakfast? Do they include internet access in the room? How firm are these rates? What additional taxes and fees are there?

[No information under this question.]

What does parking cost at your main hotels?

Parking is free at the main venue. Extra parking can be arranged at $3 a day

What is the distance from the nearest door of your main hotel(s) to the closest entrance of the convention site? What are the transportation options for those who prefer not to walk or who have mobility difficulties?

The hotel and convention center are one site.

Where will your large events (i.e. Hugo Ceremony and Masquerade) be held?

They will be held Speke resort Munyonyo, three large outdoor spaces which can hold up to 8000 guests within our bespoke marquee, installed with modern conferencing equipment, air con and state of art AV equipment. We also intend to arrange overflow seating to watch livestream in two of the other large ballrooms.

Please describe the restaurant scene near your site.

Within the resort lie six multi-cuisine restaurants and bars – Nyanja Terrace & Grill, Stables, Lakeside, The Viking bar, & Olympic swimming – each with its own unique setup and style and serve continental, Indian and local dishes – not withstanding an infinity swimming pool, boat cruises and parties, equestrian centre, ultra-modern gym and wellness centre.

What arrangements will be made for evening socialising and party space? Do you have a corkage waiver?

Fun places are easy to reach, some are even within walking distance. Also Parties and the fan bars will be arranged in the resort ball rooms . We do not have any agreements for corkage and forkage waiver with the hotel yet but we are continuing to negotiate with the hotel on this.

Please describe the policies / laws regarding smoking in your hotel(s), convention centre, and city.

The Country’s policy prohibit smoking in public facilities. There are designated smoking areas outside of the hotel.

Given the current pandemic, have you considered any arrangements have been made for social distancing and the health and safety of members? If you have, can you describe what your current plans are?

We have not yet made decisions on public health related policies (including, but not limited to, COVID vaccination, masking, and social distancing) because the situation is still evolving. We will have a policy discussion by 2026 guided by WHO

What type of weather can we expect during your convention? What is the average temperature during that time of year?

Average temperatures are generally between 23-27C (73.4- 86F) Precipitation: 10%, Humidity: 52%,

Wind: 18 km/h

What are some of the main tourist attractions of your city?

Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda with over a population of 1.2 million (Census 2002). Kampala was founded on seven hills; Kasubi Hill which is where the Kasubi Tombs are found, Mengo Hill where the present Lubiri (Kabaka’s Palace) is and the Headquarters of the Buganda Court of Justice and of the Lukiiko, Bugand’s Parliament(Bulange), Kibuli Hill, which is home to the Kibuli Mosque, Namirembe Hill, home to the Namirembe Anglican Cathedral, Lubaga Hill, where the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral is, and was the headquarters of the White Fathers, Nsambya Hill, was the headquarters of the Mill Hill Mission. It now houses Nsambya Hospital and Kampala Hill, (also known as Old Kampala), meaning “the hill of the impala” and whence Kampala got its name, is where the ruins of Lugard’s Fort were. The city spread to other hills like Nakasero Hill, Mbuya hill making this a beautiful city

The National Museum is 3km along Kira road from the heart of Kampala city. It is the oldest in East Africa. The museum was established in 1908 with assortments of item/objects from the different traditional chiefs. The Museum holds items on Uganda’s history, natural historical samples, musical instruments and archeological artifacts.

These tombs are found on Kasubi Hill and are 5 km on Kampala Hoima Road. This place is the burial ground for kings from the Buganda Kingdom. There are four previous kings buried in this place and these are: Mutesa I ruled from1856 to 1884, Chwa Daudi ruled from 1899 to 1939, Mutesa II ruled from 1939 to 1966 and Mwanga who ruled from 1884 to 1897. The place has a main burial tomb which is the biggest in Africa. The other smaller adjacent tombs are used as resident places for the care takers and houses for some of the kingdom’s royal regalia.

The Bahai Temple is situated on Kikaya Hill just 7 km from the heart of the city on Kampala Gayaza road. This is the only temple of the Bahai faith in the whole of Africa.

The Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo located along Kampala-Jinja highway and is one of the most distinguished shrines in Uganda and an important site among Christians in Africa. It is believed that, at Namugongo, 32 young Christian converts (Including Anglican & Catholics) were martyred on refusal to denounce Christianity, which was spreading like wildfire in Uganda right from 1870. This angered King (Kabaka) Mwanga II, prompting his to order the execution of the 32 men on Thursday 3rd June 1886.

Rubaga Cathedral is located on Rubaga hill, about 5 Kilometers north-west of the City center. The Cathedral is the seat of the Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. Rubaga hill was formerly a palace of Mutesa I but was donated to Bishop Hirth by his successor Mwanga in 1889. The Cathedral was opened on 31st October 1925.

Kibuli Mosque is one of the biggest mosques of Uganda with a beautiful view over Kampala; It’s located on Kubuli hill and regarded as the home for Muslims. A Buganda royal and colonial collaborator Prince Badru Kakungulu owned most of the hill. He donated the land atop the 3,973 feet hill where the Kibuli mosque stands today.

Gaddafi National Mosque also known as Kampala Mosque or National Mosque is a mosque situated at Kampala Hill in the Old Kampala area of Kampala, Uganda. Completed in 2006, it seats up to 5,000 worshipers and can hold another 1,100 in the gallery, while the terrace will cater for another 3,500. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya built the mosque as a gift to Uganda. But mostly to the Muslim’s in Uganda

Independence Monument is Located along Speke road in Kampala, just opposite Standard Chartered bank, the construction of the Independence Monument was funded by the British Colonial government in the days leading up to Uganda’s first independence cerebrations on October 9, 1962. Depicting a man unwrapping his child and raising it to touch the sky, the towering sculpture signifies a new born country let free from the bondages of colonization. This monument was made from cement, sand, iron bars and wire mesh. It is the work of Gregory Maloba, a Luhya sculptor from Kenya who studied and taught art at Makerere University from 1939- 1965.

Lubiri Palace or Mengo Palace is the royal compound of the Kabaka or king of Buganda, located in Mengo, a monarchy that dates back almost 800 years. Mengo has been the main palace since it was first constructed in 1885 by Danieri Mwanga II Mukasa, the 31st Kabaka of Buganda. Measuring 4 square miles (10 km2) in size, the palace is ringed by a six-foot brick fence and has a small airstrip within its walls. They are the official residence of the Buganda

The Kabaka’s lake is the biggest manmade lake in the country. It is found in township of Ndeeba close to 5 km from the city center in the west, on Kampala Masaka Road. It was under the orders of the previous king Mwanga of Buganda Kingdom that the lake was dug. The 52 distinct Buganda clans consider it sacred and the clan leaders mobilize their people to have it cleaned. Around the lake have been constructed several cottages to offer accommodation. Activities on the lake are: boat racing, catering services and pleasure trips. https://ugandatourismcenter.com/ [Note: Domain expired on August 2, 2022.]

Are you planning to have any membership discounts for certain demographic groups, such as young adults, military, or seniors?

We shall have specific rates for children, teenagers, and young adults and people living in Africa. We will also have a First Attending Worldcon rate, which is for anyone who has not attended a Worldcon in person.

What is your vision for your Worldcon? How do you plan to make it happen?

From the Chair, in no particular order:

  • I want staff and attendees to look forward to more worldcons in Africa.
  • We want to make Worldcon a global convention in nature and practice rotating around all continents,
  • We intend to connect friction fans, talents and stories in African to the rest of the world to foster more collaborations between Africa and rest of the world.
  • To showcase African friction fantasy and comic products, talents and stories on a global platform

What is a notable aspect of your local fan culture and how do you plan to incorporate it into your Worldcon?

Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down for generations. The African continent is home to a tradition of creation myths that on closer inspection bear a striking resemblance to speculative science fiction. The Dogon people of Mali believe they are the descendants of an extra-terrestrial race from the Sirius B star system, and the Zulu in South Africa trace their name and origin story to somewhere just beyond the heavens. In Uganda the Buganda kingdom that has continuity since the 14th century traces its origins from a supernatural being “Kintu” who came from another world. Some of such stories have informed great fiction works that have won major honors in the science fiction genre. Writers who connect with African culture in their works have had no limits to fresh new stories, like Nnedi Okorafor and Tade Thompson have, between them, won the field’s highest honors, including the Hugo.

However many speculative fiction works, talents, and stories by Africans living in Africa still struggle to find a place on global platforms for fans and consumers to admire because of a number of barriers including but not limited to proximity and technological differences which leaves a lot of untapped talent and virgin stories on the continent that would be of great value to the science fiction and fantasy industry. This will also encourage diversity and inclusion in the media space.

Africa is not only hub for talent and stories that can inform production of great works of science fiction and fantasy, but also commands a strong fan base for the genre. This has been proved by the recent explosion of the global media industries and streamers inking collaboration deals with African sci-fi producers in a bid to grow their markets and have succeeded.

Kampala hosted the first international gathering of writers and critics of African literature in Africa “the First African Writers Conference” held at Makerere University in 1962 attracting participants such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and Langston Hughes.

Although held right as many African nations were breaking free from colonialism, non-Africans like Hughes were welcomed as “observers” This conference cemented the concept of an “African” writer. It is also where the young Ngũgĩ slipped the manuscript of what would become his first published novel, Weep Not, Child, to Achebe who, duly impressed, passed it along to his editors at Heinemann in London. All of this pioneering activity in Kampala laid fertile ground for the emergence of the already powerful African writerly tradition. No doubt the Kampala landscape offers rich poetic inspirations.

Do you have a code of conduct? If so, is it available online and if so, where?

Efforts are underway to develop a code of conduct that will guide our activities during the bidding and hosting of the convention. It will be available on our website as soon as it’s finalised. www.kampcon.org

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Diversity is all about appreciating, respecting involving and welcoming people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, age, disability, education, and religion. Inclusion is a practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.

How are you working towards your goals in these areas? What would concrete achievements look like in these areas?

We are working on our Anti racism policy which will be published on our website: www.kampcon.org

What changes or challenges do you expect the current pandemic to present?

Depending on the situation by 2028, we will remain flexible in our planning to make sure that we protect the health and safety of our members as required by the state of the world we are faced with then.

Have you planned for a virtual component to your convention?

There will be a Virtual component at Kampcon. We are still working out the details of what this will include, and determine the costs for members to attend virtually.

Your members vote for Hugo Finalists who are then excited and wish to play a full part in the convention programme. How do you plan to facilitate the Finalists input as recognised by your community?

We will develop an experienced team which will develop processes to ensure that we do not unintentionally leave finalists off of the program and make reasonable efforts to accommodate them.


File 770 has asked the committee what event-running experience they have, and hopes to receive an answer soon.

6 thoughts on “Kampcon 2028 Bids for a Worldcon in Uganda

  1. I certainly wish the team from Uganda well. In general, I hope to see more Worldcons in parts of the world that haven’t yet hosted one and this of course includes Africa.

    Also, I have to admit when I read “convention facilities on the shores of Lake Victoria”, I was very intrigued.

  2. It looks like a really intriguing bid and venue. I’d be rather excited about it except for the part where homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and is violently persecuted in addition to the official legal sanctions.

  3. Cat Eldridge on August 13, 2022 at 8:34 am said:

    Interesting. What is the realistic chances of this bid succeeding?

    It depends on how much money can be poured into it to buy up enough supporting memberships and voting tokens to out-vote any opposition.

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