The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Tuesday announced that it would contribute $9-million towards the construction of a hotel and conference centre on the outskirts of Lusaka, in Zambia.
Being built by Protea Hotels Zambia, the new hotel will help meet the growing demand for business infrastructure in Zambia, while creating jobs for the youth and opportunities for hotel services and goods providers.
The hotel will have 249 rooms and a large, multipurpose event venue for up to 2 500 people.
The hotel is expected to employ around 300 people and will source many of its goods and services locally from Zambian businesses, while being managed under a Protea Hotels by Marriott franchise agreement, training local hospitality staff in global best practices on hospitality.
The total project cost is $30-million.
“The Zambia tourism market has grown from the first time we invested in the Protea Hotels franchise,” said Union Gold chairperson Mark O'Donnell.
Union Gold owns the Protea Hotels franchise in Zambia.
He added that, while “the journey was not easy”, the company’s desire to support local businesses through investing in accommodation was the driving force behind the success of the project. Union said it could, with the IFC’s support, offer Zambians and tourists alike “good hotel accommodation and a modern multipurpose event facility”.
IFC Southern Africa director Kevin Njirani said the hospitality sector could create jobs, generate tax revenues for governments and bring business to entrepreneurs in emerging economies like Zambia.
“IFC’s investment and advisory services to the Protea Hotel will help build new business infrastructure and conference facilities for investors, as well as integrate the hospitality value chain in Zambia,” he added.
IFC will complement its investment in Protea hotel with advisory services on corporate governance and food safety and will also help small and medium-sized enterprises integrate into the hotel’s supply chain.
The hotel will incorporate industry green building standards, leveraging IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) tool.
EDGE helps property developers optimise building designs to maximise energy and water efficiencies that can save money while conserving resources.
The Protea project is part of the IFC’s wide-ranging support to Zambia’s private sector. Overall, the IFC has invested close to $100-million in the country’s economy, in critical sectors like manufacturing, banking, hospitality and agriculture.