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Hilton Group sponsors Cape Town hotel investment conference based on confidence for Sub-Sahara Africa

Hilton Group sponsors Cape Town hotel investment conference based on confidence for Sub-Sahara Africa

The Hilton Hotel in Windhoek’s central business district and the nearly completed Hilton Garden Inn right next to it, are living testimony to the international hospitality group’s tourism expectations for Sub-Sahara Africa.

Tourism on the African continent is on the increase with four million new arrivals in 2016, bringing the number of visitors to 58 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Sub-Sahara Africa is leading this growth at +11%.

This perceived and anticipated growth lead Hvs, the global hotel consultancy to hold its next Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference, THINC Africa, in Cape Town.

The Hilton Group is a major sponsor of this industry platform.

The THINC Africa conference will take place on 30 and 31 August 2017 at the FNB Portside Building, in Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront precinct.

“We are bullish on Africa and believe it represents a huge opportunity for us, with the emerging middle class, urbanisation trends and increased arrivals to the continent. We are entering new markets and bringing new brands and product into key countries, and expect to double in size across Africa in the next 5 years or so. We also see great opportunity for franchise agreements across the continent,” said Mike Collini, Vice President Development for Africa at Hilton.

“When we drilled down country by country we came up with about 150 potential developments. If you look at Hilton Garden Inn, for example, this is highly efficient in its design, and more importantly in its operational model. We’ve already opened our first hotel under this brand in North Africa and the first one in Sub-Sahara in Windhoek is scheduled to open later this year, we believe it is a perfect fit for Africa” said Collini.

He stated that the group is looking to develop in both existing and new markets including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Luanda and Lagos as well as looking at the possibility of managing lodges and resorts, with a focus on core capitals and commercial cities.

To deal with the challenges of development in Africa and to mitigate risk there are three fundamentals that need to be put in place, Collini said.

Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS Africa, emphasised that competent hospitality consultants need to be engaged “before you put a spade in the ground, because once you’ve put a spade in the ground you’ve started making decisions and often those decisions aren’t suitable or appropriate for the hotel brand”.

Collini confirmed that the Hilton Group is looking to grow with local strategic partners. “Currently, all of our ownership base and the people we work with are local, although we do foresee off-shore investment coming into hotels in Africa in the future.”

“Because training is not always easily accessible across Africa, it can be challenging to find the right partner, but the sheer size of the African continent means that you can’t physically look after all the regions from your home base, so franchisors and local partners with local expertise are essential to grow and nurture those markets” according to Smith.



About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.