IFC and DEG to Support Sustainable Tourism in Rwanda
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and DEG, a member of KfW Bankengruppe, today announced that they will invest in Tourism Promotion Services Rwanda, owner of the country’s Serena Hotels. The $12 million investment will help improve business and tourism infrastructure in Rwanda, contributing significantly to economic growth.
Tourism Promotion Services Rwanda has signed a 30-year lease agreement with the government to manage and operate the Kigali Serena and the Lake Kivu Serena hotels. The company will use the funds to finance the lease, rehabilitate the two hotels, as well as expand the Kigali Serena.
Demand for hotel accommodation in Rwanda is growing rapidly due to increased foreign aid and a better business environment, as well as tourist attractions and the country’s popularity as a meeting and conference destination. The current shortage of quality accommodations hinders the country’s economic development. The IFC-DEG investment will help address the supply-demand imbalance.
Tourism Promotion Services Rwanda is a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, which has a solid reputation and extensive experience working in the tourism sector in Africa and Asia. The fund operates 28 Serena hotels, resorts, and safari lodges through its subsidiaries in Afghanistan, Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
“This investment will contribute to developing a sustainable tourism industry in East Africa,” said Jan Mohamed, Managing Director of Tourism Promotion Services.
“Several value-added programs will complement the investment, enhancing the development impact of the project significantly,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services. “IFC’s role reflects our commitment to promoting and supporting Rwanda’s nascent tourism industry.”
“The project will provide extensive training in hotel management and create more jobs, helping sustain employment and improve standards in the country,” added Hubertus Graf von Plettenberg, First Vice President of Manufacturing and Services at DEG.
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