Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra (right), exchanges documents with Jean-Marie Gras, President of Decameron New Horizon, at the signing ceremony in Cairo.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) today signed on to an agreement to provide a 57 million-Euro credit facility for the construction of a five-star hotel and spa by Cape Verde-based Decameron New Horizon group along the island nation’s main Santa Maria beach.
The approval of the dual tranche facility was part of Afreximbank’s strategy of facilitating the growth of the tourism sectors in Member States of the Bank under its Construction and Tourism-Linked Relay Financing Facility (Contour), said Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra at the signing ceremony for the facility which was held at the Bank’s Cairo Headquarters.
According to Afreximbank, the first tranche of the facility, amounting to 30 million Euros, will provide payment assurance to Ecobank Cape Verde, the local administrative agent and construction financier, and will enable Decameron New Horizon to finance civil and concrete works as well as purchase equipment and furniture. The 27 million-Euro second tranche will go to ES-KO Group, the construction contractor, as working capital for additional furniture, fittings and equipment.
“This facility brings our support to Cape Verde’s tourism industry to $102 million,” said President Ekra, who explained that the support was in the context of the recent projection by the World Tourism Organization that Cape Verde would emerge as one of the world’s top 10 tourism destinations in the next 10 years.
With tourism currently accounting for more than 46.9 per cent of the economy, and with that figure expected to reach 50 per cent by 2018, Cape Verde offered a suitable environment for such a project, said Mr. Ekra who highlighted the positive impact that tourism could have in revenue generation, foreign exchange inflows and employment creation.
Jean-Marie Gras, President of Decameron Cape Verde, commended Afreximbank’s Contour programme as “a unique and original facility that makes it possible for countries like Cape Verde to access much-needed financing in order to fulfil their tourism potential”.
Also speaking, Mamady Diakité, an Executive Director at the Ecobank Group, said that the collaboration on the project had given his organization its first opportunity to conclude a tourism-related transaction in Cape Verde.
The hotel complex is expected to boast 544 rooms and will include a convention centre, seaside restaurants and a fitness and relaxation centre.
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