AITCO 2024: In the Land of a Thousand Hills


The 4th Africa International Translation Conference (AITCO) was held from 8-10 February 2024. The venue: M Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. I was pleasantly surprised by how much interest in the event has grown since I first attended the 2nd AITCO in Arusha in 2020!

With representation from 21 countries, mainly in Africa, this conference has now become a mainstay for the development of the translation and interpreting industry on the African continent.

The conference started with a city tour and a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, an experience I will never forget. This was followed by the opening dinner where old friendships were rekindled, and new friends could be made. The following day the conference began in earnest, but in true African fashion, with song and dance. With more than 30 sessions to choose from over two days, I was at times torn between different breakaway groups. A variety of topics were covered, from the influence of AI on our industry, translator-client relationships, quality management, pricing strategies and the role of professional organisations.

A recurring theme over the two days was AI and how it should be embraced and used to our benefit, since it has the potential to help save many of our endangered languages. There were also a few more practical trainings courses, such as use of translation tools, and even a bit of yoga for translators!

Another highlight of the conference was the ceremonial launch of The Association of Language Companies in Africa (ALCA), of which Folio Online is a founding member. This association, with its goal to grow language services companies and foster collaboration in Africa, was well-received and several attendees indicated their excitement to join. I look forward to seeing the progress ALCA makes in the years to come.

Ady Namaran Coulibaly, Alfred Mtawali, Christiana Aboagye


AITCO is synonymous with song and dance. Therefore, it was only fitting that the conference ended with a gala dinner incorporating lots of dancing, some last goodbyes, and a final bus ride through the cleanest city in Africa.

A big thank you to the organisers of this event: East Africa Interpreters and Translators Association.

I’m already looking forward to Tanzania 2025!