|Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (left) lays foundation stone for Bamako Sheraton Hotel with assistance of Cesse Kome, President, Koira Hotel Investments, as N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture (red head scarf) looks on.|
With a $1 billion pipeline of tourism-related projects across Africa, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is making a big difference in helping its Member States to more easily deliver on their tourism strategies while creating jobs, the Bank announced today in Bamako.
Obi Emekekwue, Head of External Communications at Afreximbank, made the assertion in a message delivered on behalf of Bank President Jean-Louis Ekra during the foundation laying ceremony for the Sheraton Bamako Hotel, which was performed by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali.
The promoters of the hotel are targeting to complete the development in time for it to serve as the key facility for the France-Africa Summit being hosted by Mali in November 2016. With 25 presidential suites, it is being positioned to target the high end of the corporate and conference market, offering high international standards and products and taking advantage of Bamako’s geographically-central position in the West African region.
Mr. Emekekwue said that Afreximbank was supporting the project because it recognized that while tourism constituted a very important activity and a veritable source of revenue for its member countries, its development had been severely hindered by lack of appropriate financing.
“To remove this constraint and enable the creation of first class tourism facilities, we introduced what we call the Construction-Tourism-Linked Relay Facility or Contour,” he explained. “As a result, Afreximbank is today at the forefront of creating hotel and tourism facilities across Africa.”
He announced that Afreximbank provided $30.94 million financing for the Sheraton Bamako project, with CORIS Bank Mali as the local agent. The Bank was also supporting several other hotel projects promoted by Koira Hotel Investments, including 14.5 million Euro financing for Radisson Blu Bamako and additional support for Radisson Blu Abidjan.
Cesse Kome, President of Koira Hotel Investments, told the audience that the new hotel would lead to the creation of thousands of jobs for Malians, including hundreds during the construction phase. It would also generate substantial revenue for the government.
N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture of Mali, said that completion of the Sheraton Bamako Hotel on schedule would help to dispel the pessimism that existed in some quarters regarding the capacity of Mali to host the 2016 France-Africa Summit.
Also speaking, Hassan Ahdab, Vice President and Director of Operations for Africa and Indian Ocean at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, pledged the commitment of the hotel group to making the Bamako Sheraton Hotel a showpiece of the highest international standards.
In addition to President Keita of Mali, participants at the ceremony included Modibo Keita, the Prime Minister of Mali, several ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and heads of international organizations based in Bamako, as well as leading members of the Malian business community.
The Bamako Sheraton Hotel is expected to boast 200 rooms.
Afreximbank Publicity Desk