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Programme revealed ahead of AHIF 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Programme revealed ahead of AHIF 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The agenda for the Africa Hotel Investment Forum has been released.

The event will take place at the Sheraton Addis, Ethiopia, on September 23rd-25th.

Among an impressive line-up of speakers will be Olivier Granet, chief executive, Kasada Capital Management, the new billion-dollar, sub-Saharan investment fund, the first and biggest of its kind in Africa, targeting both greenfield and brownfield projects.

Katara Hospitality and Accor are contributing $350 million and $150 million respectively to the fund, which is designed to bridge the gap between the local hospitality market players and international investors.

During a one-to-one interview at AHIF, Granet will discuss future deals and the kind of opportunities Kasada is seeking.


In a hint of what’s in store, he said: “There is an incredible opportunity ahead to try out an innovative hospitality investment model in the region.

“While in other parts of the world such initiatives are already thriving, they do not exist with critical size and integrated structure in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The time is now for bold strategies to be implemented.”

The support of both Accor and Katara will enhance the fund’s ability to raise debt efficiently from local banks and international financial institutions.

According to Kasada, co-investments with local partners will support job creation and further local business opportunities, for investors to contractors to equipment suppliers.

Also on the AHIF agenda will be a regional leaders’ panel where the biggest brands will be quizzed on their growth strategies for Africa by industry guru, Nick van Marken.

He will lead a conversation with Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG; Alex Kyriakidis, managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International; and Mark Willis, chief executive, AccorHotels, Middle East and Africa.

Another of this year’s highlights will be a one-to-one “hot seat” interview with Accor’s global chief development officer, Gaurav Bhushan, with an overview of strategy for Africa.

The detail behind W Hospitality Group’s annual hotel pipeline survey, acknowledged as the industry’s most authoritative tracker of branded hotel development across the continent, will also be featured.

It will show that the big chains, Marriott, Accor, Hilton and Radisson are leading the way in a land-grab which has more than 75,000 rooms in 401 hotels in the pipeline.

Since 2015, there has been growth of 51 per cent in the total pipeline rooms; north Africa has grown by 58 per cent and sub-Sahara by 47 per cent.

The programme will also feature the popular networking activities, such as round-table discussions and business card exchanges, which have been the genesis of numerous successful commercial relationships.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events, AHIF organiser, said: “The spirit of AHIF 2019 can be summed up in seven words: We have the money; let’s do deals.

“The market is maturing; more funding than ever is available and investment strategies are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

“As all the key players will be in Addis, it will be the place to talk business, to reinforce top-level relationships and to announce agreements.”


The Africa Hotel Investment Forum is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.

It is organised by Bench Events, who has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Bench Events’ mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide.

Find out more on the official website.