Organizers Announce Agenda For 2019 AHIF in Addis Ababa
Organizers of the 2019 AHIF have released the full agenda for the hospitality event holding from September 23 – 25 at the Sheraton Addis, Ethiopia.
Speakers at the event will include Olivier Granet, CEO, 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. 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, President & Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International and Mark Willis, CEO, AccorHotels Middle East & Africa. An investors’ panel, led by Xander Nijnens, EVP, Hotels & Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa, JLL, will seek updates on current sentiment in the region. He will discuss deals with Ilaria Benucci, Investment Director, Equity Investments, CDC Group, David Damiba, Chief Investment Officer, Kasada Capital Management and Lourie Kruger, Chief Investment Officer, RF Capital. 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. What is Accor doing to improve the overall customer experience globally, and how is this driving development for the brand? 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% in the total pipeline rooms; North Africa has grown by 58% and sub-Sahara by 47%. 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. AHIF is attended by the highest calibre international hotel investors of any conference in Africa. Last year, more than five hundred delegates attended from over forty countries. It connects business leaders from the international and local markets, driving investment into hotels, other tourism projects and infrastructure.