International Conference Centre, floorplan first floor, redrawn by author based on original scan. © Government of Uganda, 1971.
International Conference Centre and Nile Hotel

A faint memory of past geopolitical alliances and ideals in Kampala, Uganda





International Conference Centre, Kampala, Organization of African Unity, OAU, Non-Aligned Movement, Energoproject


The International Conference Centre and the adjacent Nile Hotel in Kampala were built in 1971-73 to facilitate the 12th Heads of State Summit conference of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by architects from one of the founding countries of the Non-Aligned Movement: Tito’s Yugoslavia. Being too young to be considered historic, both buildings appear out of place and out of time, undervalued and overlooked in a city without a registry and planning control. While the conference center is in a well-maintained and original condition, the hotel’s renovation has transformed it beyond recognition. Their historical significance, particularly of the conference center, would hold value in any other context. However, in Uganda, it seems to bear no weight beyond the faint memory of past geopolitical alliances and ideals. The fact that the facility is disregarded as the venue for the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement summit reinforces this perception. This article describes these intricacies because they are rarely documented elsewhere. Consequently, it is a part of the Shared Heritage Africa project, aimed at rediscovering masterpieces of the Modern Movement.

How to Cite

Ivković, M., & van der Hoeven, F. (2023). International Conference Centre and Nile Hotel: A faint memory of past geopolitical alliances and ideals in Kampala, Uganda. Docomomo Journal, (69), 70–75.




Author Biographies

Milena Ivković, BLOK 74

Is an architect, urban planner and civic participation innovator specializing in place-led public space renewal. Milena’s experience includes working for various Dutch and international consultancies and think-tanks on holistic public space design methodologies. She managed the ISOCARP UPAT programme for in-situ participatory workshops on urban regeneration in in many countries. She is the creative director of BLOK 74. a digital design collective with expertise in serious games and gamified simulations for collaborative urban design and scientific communication, based in Rotterdam. Since 2021, Milena has been leading the Association Placemaking Western Balkans, a non-profit association of urban professionals based in Belgrade, Serbia.

Frank van der Hoeven, Delft University of Technology

Is Director of Research of TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, and associate professor Urban Design at the Urbanism Department of the same faculty. In that last capacity seconded to the TU Delft Library as Program Manager Open Science. He is responsible for the development of the research portfolio of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft, for facilitating research assessments, and positioning architecture and the built environment in the Dutch creative industry and the design sciences to advance open science and open education. Board member of the Royal Netherlands Archaeological Society KNOB. The KNOB is the Dutch built heritage society.


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