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Africa Hospitality Investment Forum to place local tourism industry in the spotlight

Africa Hospitality Investment Forum to place local tourism industry in the spotlight

The continental tourism and hotel investment conference,  the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), will take place on 25 to 27 June 2024 in Namibia, the hosting partners confirmed this week.

The event which is expected to attract several prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies, and their advisers, will take place at the Mövenpick and Mercure hotels.

Both properties are receiving a total makeover after they were acquired in 2021 by a fund managed by Kasada Capital Management, a major independent real estate private equity platform dedicated to the hospitality industry in Africa.

According to a statement announcing the forum, for many delegates attending AHIF next year, the conference will involve a “safari” in more ways than one. The weekend before AHIF will feature various inspection trips to see some of Namibia’s hospitality investment projects. The delegates will also have the opportunity to savour the spectacular wildlife, the incredible desert scenery and the colourful cultures of Namibia’s diverse peoples.

The trips will not only be educational; they will also provide valuable networking, as participants will also include delegates from AviaDev, Africa’s premier airline route development conference, which will be scheduled at the same venue, at the end of the week before.

In the seven years before COVID, Namibia’s tourism sector had been growing consistently. According to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, visitor numbers grew by around 5% per annum, from just under 1.2 million in 2012 to 1.6 million in 2019. However, in 2020 visitor numbers plummeted to less than 200.000. From this very low base, the numbers grew 40% the next year, and again almost doubled in 2022 reaching just over 460,000.

Nangula Uaandja, Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board said: “Securing the bid to host AHIF 2024 is not just a win for Namibia, but also an affirmation of our national potential. We are delighted to welcome the international hospitality investment community to explore the untapped investment potential of our tourism industry. Namibia is a strikingly beautiful country, with picturesque landscapes that are guaranteed to charm at first sight.”

“More than that, we are a country that is committed to developing our people by attracting foreign investments that catalyze economic activity and employment creation. Our government is deliberate about sustaining a conducive investment climate, supported by a progressive regulatory and policy framework, a strong legal system, seamless repatriation of profits, and an independent judiciary that protects the rights of all investors.”

Olivier Granet, Managing Partner, and Chief Executive and David Damiba, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of Kasada Capital Management, said: “We are proud to be partnering with the Bench on AHIF 2024 and look forward to welcome guests to Kasada’s newly refurbished and relaunched Mövenpick and Mercure hotels. The full refurbishment of Namibia’s leading hotel complexes and conference center is a testament to our strategy of bringing capital and expertise to enhance the hospitality sector in key cities across Africa.”

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of The Bench, which organizes AHIF, concluded: “We are very excited that AHIF will, for the first time, go to a SADC country next year. Investing in Africa is all about uncovering and seizing new opportunities. To do that, one needs to expand horizons by going to different places, meeting new people, and exploring alternative scenarios.”


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