2017 Programme

Day 2: Wednesday 11 October 2017

7:30
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Optional 5km jogging tour of Kigali

Meet at Radisson Blu Reception

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Alexis Sharangabo
Former Olympian and Rwandan national record holder -

Alexis Sharangabo

Former Olympian and Rwandan national record holder -

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8:00 - 9:30

Networking

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Registration and Welcome Refreshments

9:00 - 9:15
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Welcoming Remarks

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Matthew Weihs
Managing Director - Bench Events

Matthew Weihs

Managing Director - Bench Events

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Matthew Weihs is Managing Director of Bench Events. Within this role he focuses on the development of new business opportunities and sales for Bench Events and partners, whilst also supporting the direction of the business and providing commercial support for new product launches.
With over 15 years experience in B2B conferencing with Guardian News and Media, IQPC and now Bench Events his main responsibilities have been to manage the sales across the portfolio, deliver the projects to the high standards our customers expect and to find new development opportunities for the business. In 2012 he successfully founded and launched the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and in 2013 he launched the Morocco Tourism Investment Forum (MTIF) - an invitation only event for the industry. 2014 will see the launch of the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), the latest addition to the Bench Events hotel investment conference portfolio.

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Clare Akamanzi
Chief Executive Officer - Rwanda Development Board & Cabinet Member

Clare Akamanzi

Chief Executive Officer - Rwanda Development Board & Cabinet Member

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Ms Clare Akamanzi is CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Member of the Cabinet of Rwanda. Prior to this role, she served as Head of Strategy and Policy for H.E President Paul Kagame and for over 7 years as COO of the RDB.

Ms. Akamanzi has also previously served as a Commercial Diplomat in London and a Trade Negotiator in Geneva at the World Trade Organization.

She is an International Trade and Investment Lawyer, who has lived, schooled and worked in 7 countries in 3 continents but nothing beats the privilege of being part of rebuilding her nation.

Ms Akamanzi is a Harvard Kennedy School MPA alum, where she was the recipient of the Lucius N. Littaeur Fellows Award; the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award, both for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to HKS community, as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service. She also holds an LLM (International Trade and Investment) with distinction from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and LLM (Hons) from Makerere University, Uganda.

She is a 2012 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and was named one of Africa’s Top 20 leading women in economic development by Forbes in 2013.

Guest of Honour

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Dr. Edouard Ngirente
- Prime Minister of Rwanda

Dr. Edouard Ngirente

- Prime Minister of Rwanda

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9:15 - 10:15
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The African Economy 2017 - Stagnation or Star Nations?

An in-depth look at the current global economic climate and its impact on the African market. With a decline in commodity prices and the strength of the USD, major structural reforms are needed with a renewed focus on diversified economies. Where are commodity prices going and what can be done by the industry to drive economic growth and development?

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Daniel Silke
Director - Political Futures Consultancy

Daniel Silke

Director - Political Futures Consultancy

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Daniel Silke is recognized as one of South Africa’s leading political economy analysts, futurists and most passionate keynote speakers. His success lies in blending both economic and political trends in highly accessible yet insightful presentations. As Director of the Political Futures Consultancy based in Cape Town, Silke serves a host of major global blue-chip companies with outstanding keynotes and workshops aimed at the convention, conference and events industries. He has over 15 years’ experience in delivering flagship presentations on Global, African and South African political and economic trends. Silke holds a Master’s degree from the University of Cape Town in South African and International Politics and was attached to the university's Institute for the Study of Public Policy where he tutored within the broader Department of Political Studies. Silke then served in public office as a Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and City Councillor in the City of Cape Town holding positions of whip for his party as well as portfolio committee chair for economic development. Since launching his consultancy, Silke has become a familiar name on the corporate speaking circuit and in the media - both within his native South Africa and overseas.

Follow-on discussion on the big picture

A conversation on how the hospitality industry is tackling the challenges in the current political and economic environment. How are the global trends being translated to the hotel sector in Africa?

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Daniel Silke
Director - Political Futures Consultancy

Daniel Silke

Director - Political Futures Consultancy

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Daniel Silke is recognized as one of South Africa’s leading political economy analysts, futurists and most passionate keynote speakers. His success lies in blending both economic and political trends in highly accessible yet insightful presentations. As Director of the Political Futures Consultancy based in Cape Town, Silke serves a host of major global blue-chip companies with outstanding keynotes and workshops aimed at the convention, conference and events industries. He has over 15 years’ experience in delivering flagship presentations on Global, African and South African political and economic trends. Silke holds a Master’s degree from the University of Cape Town in South African and International Politics and was attached to the university's Institute for the Study of Public Policy where he tutored within the broader Department of Political Studies. Silke then served in public office as a Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and City Councillor in the City of Cape Town holding positions of whip for his party as well as portfolio committee chair for economic development. Since launching his consultancy, Silke has become a familiar name on the corporate speaking circuit and in the media - both within his native South Africa and overseas.

In a one-on-one interview with:

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Alex Kyriakidis
President & Managing Director, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

Alex Kyriakidis

President & Managing Director, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

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Alex Kyriakidis is President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa (MEA), for Marriott International, Inc., with responsibility for all business activities for the Middle East & Africa Region (MEA), including development, brands, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, legal and operations.

Prior to joining Marriott International in January 2012, Mr. Kyriakidis served as Global Managing Director – Travel, Hospitality & Leisure for Deloitte LLP.  In this role, Mr. Kyriakidis led the Global Travel, Hospitality & Leisure Industry team, where he was responsible for a team of 4,500 professionals.

Mr. Kyriakidis has 45 years of experience providing strategic, financial, M&A, operational, asset management and integration services to the travel, hospitality and leisure sectors.  He has served clients in 25 countries, predominantly in the EMEA and Asia/Pacific regions.

As President of the MEA region for Marriott International, Mr Kyriakidis leads the growth of Marriott’s business for the region. Mr. Kyriakidis was the MEA executive sponsor for the acquisition in 2013 of the South Africa based Protea hotels and is the MEA region sponsor for the integration of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  The company has experienced substantial growth with a newly combined portfolio of 248 hotels and 54,988 rooms, in 30 countries and is targeting a projected growth of 150,000 rooms operational and pipeline in 38 countries by 2022 across MEA.

Mr Kyriakidis is a fellow of the Arab Society of Certified Accountants, the British Association of Hotel Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mr. Kyriakidis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and mathematics from Leeds University in the United Kingdom.  He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mr Kyriakidis is fluent in English, Greek and Arabic. In his spare time, Mr. Kyriakidis enjoys training in Shotokan Karate in which he was awarded a third grade black belt in 2015.

10:15 - 10:45
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Investors’ views on the opportunities in Africa

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Filippo Sona
Director - Head of Hotels  (MENA Region) - Colliers International

Filippo Sona

Director - Head of Hotels  (MENA Region) - Colliers International

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Filippo Sona has been in the global hotel industry for the past 20 years working for International hotel companies and consultancies in UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa. Filippo is specialized in destination and hotel development for mixed uses and stand alone projects, market & financial feasibility study, operator selection and strategic asset management. Filippo understanding of management agreements has been an invaluable skill to global law firms as an expert witness in International Arbitrations. His extensive operational background allows Filippo to provide true strategic operational and financial advice, to enhance hotel profitability and drive asset value. Filippo holds an MBA from Oxford Brooks University and an Honours Degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University, London.

In conversation with:

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Mohammed Almarzooqi
Interim CEO and board member - Kerzner International Ltd.

Mohammed Almarzooqi

Interim CEO and board member - Kerzner International Ltd.

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Mohammed has played an instrumental role in the development of both Cheval Residences and Cheval Property Management since 2007.  Appointed as Group Managing Director in 2013 Mohammed has overseen the significant development of a number of large residential and commercial projects across London and the South West.  He is also committed in developing the Cheval brand on an international basis with a focus on the ApartHotel and Millennial markets.

Having previously spent 16 years within the aviation industry, Mohammed’s experience within revenue management, operations and pricing strategies ensures in depth knowledge within the travel and hospitality industries.  Mohammed is a regular speaker and networker at key travel and hospitality events worldwide.

Mohammed currently sits on the board of a number of prominent companies within the hospitality market, including:

Board Director of UK Mission Enterprise Ltd - 2010
Board Director of Porto Montenegro - 2016
Managing Director & Board Member of ‘Nyungwe Forest Lodge’ Rwanda- 2016
Managing Director & Board Member of ‘Gorilla Nest Lodge’ Rwanda- 2016
Board member for Kerzner International Ltd - 2017 and acting as Interim CEO

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Rahul Chaudhary
Executive Director - CG Corp Global

Rahul Chaudhary

Executive Director - CG Corp Global

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Mr. Rahul Chaudhary is the Executive Director of CG Corp | Global which is a multinational conglomerate with an exceptional legacy of 140 years and 4 generations. Spread over 30 countries and with a work force of over 10,000, it is the Himalayan Republic of Nepal's first and only company listed on the Forbes list of Billionaires since 2015 valued in excess US$2.5 Billion comprising over 90 companies that produces world class products and brands.

CG Corp | Global’s notable areas of interests are FMCG, Hospitality, Finance, Banking, Electronic and Home appliances, Cement, Real estate, Education, Energy, Biotech, Retail to name a few. CG is also the brain behind the famous Wai Wai brand of noodles.

Rahul heads CG Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality wing of CG Corp | Global. His forte lies in forging strategic alliances in established as well as emerging markets, which assists in the growth and development of the company. CG Hotels and Resorts has a proud history of successful joint ventures in the hospitality sector with esteemed partners and owns some of the most iconic assets globally with some of the leading hospitality brands over two decades such as Taj, Alila, Jetwing, Radisson, The Farm and its own brands The Fern, Summit and Zinc. CG Hotels & Resorts portfolio comprises of over 100 hotels & resorts in 20 countries and 65 destinations with over 6000 keys. By 2020, the portfolio is expected to grow to over 200 hotels and 10,000 keys.

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Nizar Mawani
Director of Real Estate Developments - Rahmyn Developments and Real Estate

Nizar Mawani

Director of Real Estate Developments - Rahmyn Developments and Real Estate

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Nizar was Born in Kenya and has lived in Canada for the past 36 years with his wife and two children.

He studied computer science and business at Carlton university in Ottawa Canada. He is currently operating a real estate development business in Angola and Canada.

He has operated in 3 continents 3 generations of evolving from family trading, franchise business and now currently in real estate & Hotel developments both in Canada and now for the past 3 years in Angola.

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Nicolas Willemin
Senior Investment Manager - Proparco

Nicolas Willemin

Senior Investment Manager - Proparco

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Nicolas WILLEMIN is in charge of the hospitality and real estate projects at PROPARCO since 2016.

He was previously a banker for more than six years.

He joined PROPARCO in 2011, where he originated, structured and closed numerous transactions in the French overseas departments and Africa ( in particular property sector).

Nicolas  is a graduate from the Sorbonne University and holds a master degree in corporate finance from EM Lyon business School. 

10:45 - 11:30
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Air Travel Trends

ForwardKeys will present the numbers relating to the forward-looking trends for air travel to, from and within Africa.

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Gerard Brown
Divisional Director – Airports - ForwardKeys

Gerard Brown

Divisional Director – Airports - ForwardKeys

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Ged is a senior commercial professional with over 20 years experience leading global travel and tourism organisations through transition and developing new revenue streams.

Currently heading up the Airport Division of the leading travel data and insights company, Forward Keys, Ged is a graduate of Dublin Business School and holds a Post Graduate Degree in Business Administration, Advanced Diploma from the Institute of Administrative Management, an Honors Degree in International Business Studies and a Higher National Diploma in International Business and Marketing.

He has previously held senior positions with Thomas Cook, TUI, Kuoni, Travel Weekly and most recently UBM Routes, where he has helped to shape the tourism role in air service development as well as securing all future hosts for the Routes events worldwide.

An expert in the development of international commercial relationships, Ged continues to work across the industry to promote the role of greater intelligence and insight for business critical decision making as well as advocate the positive economic impact of the travel industry.

Ged is passionate about the global travel and tourism industry and regularly writes articles for industry publications within the travel and tourism sector and is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate speaker at several trade events throughout the year.

He is married with two young daughters and spends his time between Valencia, Spain and Manchester, England.

Regional African Connectivity

Rapid urbanisation and the ongoing process to liberalise the African skies offers huge opportunities for improved connectivity between regions and cities. Could the hospitality and aviation industries work closer together to catalyse this growth?

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Adefunke Adeyemi
Regional Head, Member and External Relations, Africa and Middle East - IATA

Adefunke Adeyemi

Regional Head, Member and External Relations, Africa and Middle East - IATA

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Recently identified as one of the 200 Most Influential People of  African Descent (MIPAD) globally in recognition of her achievements, Adefunke Adeyemi is a transformative leader, agent of change and influencer, positively impacting lives and the business environment through her passion, work and initiatives. A product of the prestigious University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, she is a lawyer, advocate and aviation expert, focused on bringing value and international standards to everything she does, especially throughout her career spanning over 18 years.

In her current role as the Regional Director for Member and External Relations of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), Africa and Middle East covering 68 countries, she advocates for the overall sustainability and growth of the aviation industry, showcasing the value it brings to business and economies as an enabler and catlyst for development and growth. She is the intermediary between airlines, the wider aviation community, governments and policy makers and the general public. She is responsible for conceptiualising and delivering an ongoing campaign regarding the transformation of Africa’s socio-economic prospects through improved air connectivity across the continent and introducing the concept of Smarter Regulation as a fundamental basis for sustainability.

Adefunke is passionate about Leadership and Innovation. Since joining IATA in 2009, she has been involved in many key industry and leadership initiatives, including being chosen as part of a core group of senior managers tasked with revising the strategic direction of the global aviation industry, the re-organisation of IATA to better meet member and industry needs, and over the past 6 years, has participated as a national delegate at the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to facilitate the global air transport industry position on Environmental issues.

Adefunke heads the Diversity and Inclusion initiative of IATA in Africa and Middle East and before that, led its Women in Leadership initiative in the region.  She is passionate about empowering the female workforce to occupy senior management positions nationally, regionally and globally through mentorship and training, focusing on competence and merit.

She began her career practicing law with F.O. Akinrele & Co., one of the leading law firms in Nigeria and commenced her foray into aviation in 2004 as part of the set up team of Virgin Nigeria Airways, thereafter being appointed as the Head of Legal Services and Company Secretary at just 31. She held that position for 4 years before joining IATA. While at Virgin Nigeria, Funke was nominated to the IATA Industry Affairs Committee, the global committee for inter-airline co-operation and development of global aero-political initiatives for the entire industry.

She joined IATA as the Country Manager for Nigeria and English speaking West Africa, where she helped achieve many ‘firsts’, including helping secure the ‘Abuja Declaration’ for global standards in African aviation safety and security, as well as developing and implementing a robust financial programme for ticket sales for airlines and travel agents in Nigeria and Ghana.

Funke obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Commercial Law from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom after reading Law at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Nanyang Business School, NTU, Singapore, during which she simultaneously completed a collaborative Advanced Management Program in Aviation, Leadership and Innovation between the Nanyang Business School, Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California and the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.

Adefunke is a member of the African Ledership Network, an Associate of the worldwide Institude of Directors and member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. She enjoys travelling, running (being an active member of the Road Warriors running club) and volunteer work including being a co-administrator for ‘Forty For Good’, a non-profit initiative supporting the Disabled Elderly, Children in Need, Childless Widows and Fertility. She is an accomplished public speaker. 

In conversation with:

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Olivier Granet
Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer - AccorHotels Middle East and Africa

Olivier Granet

Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer - AccorHotels Middle East and Africa

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Olivier Granet is the Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Middle East since January 2016. In January 2017 he took also the responsibility of Africa. He oversees the overall AccorHotels’ diverse portfolio of internationally renowned luxury, upscale, midscale and economy hotels in these regions, and is responsible for the development of the AccorHotels network in the Middle East and Africa. This includes 200 operational hotels with over 43,000 rooms across thirty countries, and over 32,000 rooms under development representing a total of 75,000 rooms committed.

Olivier’s previous role was Senior Vice President of Development at AccorHotels Middle East. Since he moved to Dubai in 2011, Olivier oversaw the signing of over 90 new partnership agreements across the region; reaching a rate of one new signature every two weeks.

He is a 16-year veteran of the hospitality industry, having joined AccorHotels in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer for Central Europe, based in Budapest. Moving to Paris in 2002, Olivier was appointed Vice President, Corporate Finance, in charge of integrating the German hotel chain Dorint and developing synergies with Club Méditerranée and Groupe Lucien Barrière. He served as AccorHotels’ Executive Committee General Secretary in 2006, and Chief Financial Officer for Accor Services in 2007 and 2008. Olivier took on the role of Senior Vice President, Strategy in 2009, before moving to Dubai two years later to head up AccorHotels’ regional Development team in the Middle East.

Prior to joining AccorHotels, Olivier worked with Deloitte & Touche for ten years, initially as an auditor and later as a Manager in the Corporate Finance Department, holding positions in France and abroad.

He has a degree from the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po Grenoble) and an MBA from ESSEC Business School in Paris.

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David King
Project Manager - Cape Town Air Access (WESGRO)

David King

Project Manager - Cape Town Air Access (WESGRO)

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David King completed his studies in 2001 at Stellenbosch University with a BComm (Hons) Logistics Management and an M (Town and Regional Planning) after which he worked in London, UK for a year as a transport and town planner. After returning to South Africa he worked for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria for eight years as a transport and logistics researcher. During 2011-2016 David was employed as a project manager and transport specialist for a consultancy company in Stellenbosch (GAIN group) which mainly focussed on long term demand planning for freight and goods movements in South Africa. His major contribution was expanding this model for 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since October 2016 David is a project manager at WESGRO (The Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape) for the Cape Town Air Access project. The main goal of the project being to intensify and broaden Western Cape air access to targeted African and international markets to improve Western Cape economic competitiveness.

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Col. Chance Ndgano
Chief Executive Officer - RwandAir

Col. Chance Ndgano

Chief Executive Officer - RwandAir

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A pilot by profession, he brings to the airline over 20 years of experience in aviation management having worked previously in Akagera Aviation as the Chief Operations Officer and served as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA). He also holds a Bachelor’s (Hons) Degree in Aviation Science and a commercial pilot license with instrument rating (CPL/IR).

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Present Your Project

Mixed Use Development Across Kigali Convention Centre

Presented by:

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Hubert Musoni
Board Director - Top Tower Hotels Ltd

Hubert Musoni

Board Director - Top Tower Hotels Ltd

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After having spent 10 years working primarily in Europe and the United States, Hubert decided to move back to Rwanda. He currently serves as a Chief Business Development Officer for a family-owned real estate company active in the hospitality, commercial and residential real estate business. He also co-owns a leading business transformation consulting business that helps organizations improving their customer experience.

Prior to that, Hubert held various positions in Corporate Strategy, Global Marketing and Business Intelligence at the head office of one of the largest business units of the Volvo Group.

In addition, Hubert also spent several years in Silicon Valley, California working for several technology companies in various managerial roles.

Zanzibar Amber Resort

Presented by:

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Simon McGregor
Chief Financial Officer - Pennyroyal (Gibraltar) Ltd

Simon McGregor

Chief Financial Officer - Pennyroyal (Gibraltar) Ltd

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Simon is the Chief Financial Officer of Pennyroyal (Gibraltar) Ltd the company behind the Zanzibar Amber Resort. Pennyroyal is building this large five-star project situated on the Indian Ocean-facing North East of Zanzibar island on 650HA of land and marine space with 4km of private beach. Simon grew up in the family-owned financial publishing business McGregors Who Owns Whom in Cape Town and spent the early part of his career engrossed in financial and company research. When the online version of the business was sold to Naspers in 2000 he moved on to found businesses involved in bulk share dealing, investor relations and shareholder administration. This took him to the City in London in 2009 where he added share registry and cross-border listings to his experience. Simon is also a partner in Afriscope Advisory and is based in London.

11:30 - 12:00

Networking

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COFFEE BREAK

12:00 - 12:30
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An Update on Safety & Security

Understanding the security risks in the current environment. What regional conflicts, catastrophes and political issues are affecting trends in travel and tourism? Are future elections holding back investment in the region? What can be done in the fight against corruption?

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David Harper
Head of Property Services - Hotel Partners Africa

David Harper

Head of Property Services - Hotel Partners Africa

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David is the Head of Property Services for Hotel Partners Africa (HPA), advising on all aspects of hotel properties, including valuation, operator selection and acquisitions & disposals. HPA is the coming together of four of the most experienced consultants working in sub-Saharan Africa to provide a one-stop-shop for hoteliers and developers, and David’s role is to provide the property advice
David is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years in property and the hotel industry.  He is the author of Hotel Valuation for Investors, the best-selling book providing comprehensive advice on all aspects of hotel ownership.  He also advises the RICS on hotel valuations and wrote the guidance on ISURV, a subscription service providing best practice advice for Chartered Surveyors the world over.
Prior to setting up Hotel Partners Africa and before that Leisure Property Services, David was head of hotel valuations and international brokerage for CBRE Hotels, and has been involved in some of the largest transactions across the globe.  He has worked in over 100 countries and has unrivalled experience across sub-Saharan Africa.

In conversaton with:

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Mossadeck Bally
Chief Executive Officer - Azalaï Hotels Group

Mossadeck Bally

Chief Executive Officer - Azalaï Hotels Group

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Mr. Bally is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Azalaï Hotels Group.

In 1994, he acquired the mythical “Grand Hôtel de Bamako”. In 2000, he built the Salam Hotel, and managed Hotel Nord Sud. In 2005, he consolidated the activities of the various properties under a common brand “Azalaï Hotels”. The Azalaï Hotels Group expanded to Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Benin and more recently to Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinee Conakry and Niger.

Azalaï Hotels Group is today the first African private hotel chain group in the West African Region, providing direct employment to about 900 persons and over 2000 indirectly.

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Ian Clarke
Associate Director - Crisis and Security Consulting - Control Risks East Africa Ltd

Ian Clarke

Associate Director - Crisis and Security Consulting - Control Risks East Africa Ltd

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Ian is an Associate Director within Control Risks’ Crisis and Security Consulting department. His role centres on security risk consulting and the management of long-term projects in the East Africa region, primarily focussed upon security risk management, analysis and security design. He has extensive experience in supporting and managing a range of projects covering multiple industry sectors.

Ian’s recent consulting experience includes:

- Project manager and lead consultant for the delivery of security design support to a new International Airport in Kigali, Rwanda. The project encompassed a security threat and risk assessment which fed into the delivery of the security concept design. The project is now progressing into the developed and technical design phases.
- Project manager and lead consultant for a USD $2bn critical national infrastructure power sector project in north-eastern Kenya, delivering security site survey, security risk assessment, security concept design, security master plan – project ongoing to incorporate full lifecycle through to operations.
- Project Manager and lead consultant for the delivery of full lifecycle security consultancy services following the RIBA work stages, for a high end serviced apartment’s development in Nairobi.
- Project manager for the delivery of security consultancy services for an iconic mixed-use development in Nairobi incorporating a new 5 star international branded hotel. The on-going engagement initially comprised a security threat and risk assessment feeding into a security concept design and is now at the detailed design phase.
- Direct consultancy services encompassing the provision of Crisis Management support, training and the development of planning, policies and procedures for a major energy sector, critical national infrastructure project in north-western Kenya.
- Lead consultant and project management for a 100 acre premier mixed use development in Nairobi, Kenya, delivering security site survey, security risk assessment, security concept design, security detailed design, high-level policies and procedures and tender management services.
- Project manager and lead consulant delivering a detailed security review for an international FMCG company who were experiencing extensive theft, corruption and mismanagement of stock from their primary site in Nairobi.
- Direct delivery of multiple security reviews for an international oil and gas client conducting operations in Tanzania. The review process incorporated an extensive threat and risk assessment followed by direct reviews of accommodations, places of work and journey management by land, sea and air.
- Direct delivery of Business Continuity and Crisis Management consultancy for an international telecommunications client incorporating business impact analysis, input and co-authorship of business continuity plan, crisis management workshops, training and corporate desktop exercises. Evacuation planning, training and live exercises for 1000+ personal at company head office.
- Direct embedded security consultancy for an international telecommunications client in Nigeria. Tasks included risk analysis, risk management, crisis management planning, business continuity management, security management/mentoring, audit and review, and the provision of timely security information reporting analysis and advice

Ian has significant experience of working in challenging environments across Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Before joining Control Risks, Ian worked as a Senior Consultant and Regional Manager for an international risk consultancy, project managing and providing client facing consultancy services for the provision of security design and installation of Integrated Security Management Systems. Ian’s early career was with the British Army as a reconnaissance and intelligence specialist serving in numerous operational locations and receiving a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS). Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of leadership and management and has a post graduate diploma in Business Continuity Management from Buckinghamshire New University.

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Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita
Secretary-General - National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS)

Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita

Secretary-General - National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS)

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Brig Gen Nzabamwita is the Secretary-General of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) since 22 March 2016. Before his appointment as the SG NISS, Brig Gen Nzabamwita served as Director General, Policy and Strategy at Ministry of Defence; and the Military and Defence spokesperson, a position he held since July 2011. Between April 2010 and July 2011, Brig Gen Nzabamwita served as the Commanding Officer of the 105 Battalion in Rubavu District. From June 2006 to March 2010, Brig Gen Nzabamwita served as Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Service and at the same time, Director General of External Security. Prior to that, Brig Gen Nzabamwita had served as Rwanda’s Defence and Military Attaché in Washington DC, United States, from March 2003 to March 2006. Brig Gen Nzabamwita holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Uganda’s Makerere University and a Masters in International Law from the University of Washington, USA. He is married with three children.

12:30 - 12:45
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An Overview of Hotel Performance in Africa

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Thomas Emanuel
Director of Business Development - STR

Thomas Emanuel

Director of Business Development - STR

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Thomas Emanuel is Director of Business Development for STR. He is based in London, and leads a team focused on driving business with Industry Partners.

He has spent his entire career in the hotel industry, beginning in 2000 with Miki Travel, before joining Hyatt Hotel & Resorts, where he gained experience in corporate sales at both the worldwide sales office and at property level. Thomas then led the corporate sales function for Hazlitt’s Hotels, a group of independent boutique hotels in London.

In 2006, Thomas joined the Deloitte HotelBenchmark team, where he was responsible for creating and leading the department’s business development function. He held this role until the formation of STR in March 2008, and had since focused on overseeing STR’s rapid expansion outside North America. Throughout his time with STR, Thomas has gained a wealth of experience working with hotels, investors, developers, consultants, banks, governments, destination management companies and many others.

Thomas has worked in over 40 countries across 6 continents and regularly speaks at major hospitality conferences around the world. He is also frequently interviewed for his insights on the hotel industry by news outlets including CNN, CNBC, as well as various tourism and hospitality publications.

Thomas holds a BA (Hons) in International Business.

12:45 - 13:30
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The AHIF Annual Pipeline Report

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Trevor Ward
Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

Trevor Ward

Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

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Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality, leisure and real estate industries. He is the Managing Director of the Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, and Chairman of Hotel Partners Africa. 

His industry experience spans over 40 years, and includes advising clients on hotel, tourism and leisure development in over 90 countries across the globe, and in 39 in Africa.  With a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa, he works with many of the international hotel groups seeking a presence there, and with financial institutions, investors and entrepreneurs across the continent.  He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy, ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, asset management, valuations and agency.

Delving into the hottest new markets – where are the opportunities?

An outlook on potential new markets coming into focus in the next few years.

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Trevor Ward
Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

Trevor Ward

Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

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Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality, leisure and real estate industries. He is the Managing Director of the Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, and Chairman of Hotel Partners Africa. 

His industry experience spans over 40 years, and includes advising clients on hotel, tourism and leisure development in over 90 countries across the globe, and in 39 in Africa.  With a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa, he works with many of the international hotel groups seeking a presence there, and with financial institutions, investors and entrepreneurs across the continent.  He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy, ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, asset management, valuations and agency.

In conversation with:

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Paul Ansah
Vice President - Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

Paul Ansah

Vice President - Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

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Paul C. Ansah is Vice President of International Hotel Development, responsible for development of all Marriott brands in Africa.  Paul is also Group Development Director for Protea Hotels based in South Africa.  
Paul began his career with Marriott in Development Finance, where he was responsible for complex financial analysis and due diligence on Development and Asset Management deals across the world.  Paul then joined Marriott’s Mixed-Use Development group, where he led the company’s branded residential due diligence efforts and negotiated branded residential deals on behalf of Marriott and Ritz-Carlton.  Prior to entering the hospitality sector, Paul spent several years building mixed-use commercial real estate as a Civil Engineer and Project Manager in the United States.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (Structural Design) from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Business Administration degree (Finance and Real Estate) from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Philippe Bijaoui
Chief Development Officer EMEA - Wyndham Hotel Group

Philippe Bijaoui

Chief Development Officer EMEA - Wyndham Hotel Group

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Philippe Bijaoui, WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP’s Chief Development Officer for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA) has more than 20 years of hotel real estate and development experience in markets across EMEA and most recently served as Vice President Development Europe for InterContinental Hotel Group, where he defined and implemented the development strategy for the region. He has also previously held senior development roles with Rezidor, Club Med, HVS International, City Hotels S.A. and Groupe Immobilière Hôtelière. Bijaoui has a Master of Business Administration from I.M.H.I. Cornell, and speaks multiple European languages. 

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Mike Collini
Vice President Development Sub-Saharan Africa - Hilton

Mike Collini

Vice President Development Sub-Saharan Africa - Hilton

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Mike Collini was appointed Vice President of Development for Hilton in June 2006.

Since January 2017, Collini has been based in Cape Town and responsible for driving Hilton’s development activity in Sub-Saharan Africa.  His priority lies with the implementation of Hilton’s ambitious expansion strategy with a focus on rolling out Hilton’s portfolio of brands throughout the region.

Previously, Collini was based in Istanbul and responsible for launching Hilton’s presence in a number of new markets, including the debut of the Doubletree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn & Hampton by Hilton brands in Turkey and Russia. Furthermore, he was responsible for the establishing Hilton’s presence into Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan & Ukraine. He now leads a development team of four full-time development professionals.

Under his leadership he has successfully delivered a number of strategic development alliances in emerging markets like Turkey and Russia where the company now enjoys the largest development pipeline of any global hotel chain.

During a Hilton career spanning twenty years Collini has held a number of positions within the company, from overseeing major capital expenditure projects to asset management, acquisitions, disposals and technical support.

Collini is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and has a Master’s degree in Property Business and Management and a BSc Degree (Hons.) in Quantity Surveying.

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Andrew McLachlan
Senior Vice President, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Andrew McLachlan

Senior Vice President, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

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A South African national, McLachlan is based at Carlson Rezidor’s Africa Area Support Office in Cape Town, South Africa. Andrew is responsible for growing the company's dynamic portfolio of hotels and brands in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

Carlson Rezidor currently has 77 hotels (+16,500 rooms) under operation and development in 29 countries in Africa - under either their upper upscale Radisson Blu brand, upscale lifestyle select Radisson Red brand, upper midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or the luxury Quorvus Collection brand. Andrew's career in the hotel industry started in 1990 before being formally enrolled in an in-house Hotel Management programme with Protea Hotels.

In 1994 he won the Hotel Graduate of the Year Award in South Africa and held various management positions and by 1997 he proudly took over the challenging task of a hotel General Manager at a Protea Hotel in Johannesburg. In 1999, he moved on to the position of Protea Hotels Group Brand Communications Manager and in 2002 set his foot into the development world as Protea Hotels Special Projects Manager.

In December 2006, Andrew joined Carlson Rezidor as Director Business Development and was promoted Senior Director and Vice President and then Senior Vice President Business Development in May 2016. He established the group's presence in the region through a dedicated development office in Cape Town and is now spearheading Carlson Rezidor's growth strategies in this important emerging market.

In the last two years Carlson Rezidor has opened a new hotel in Africa every 60 days and signed a new hotel deal every 37 days.

Andrew is married and has two sons.

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Present Your Project

South Beach, Dar Es Salaam

Presented by:

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Bobby McKenna
Managing Partner - CPS Tanzania

Bobby McKenna

Managing Partner - CPS Tanzania

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Bobby joined CPS Tanzania as Managing Partner to head up the strategic expansion and market positioning of the mainland Tanzania operation. He brings with him 25 years experience in the East African luxury hospitality and property sector, initially as a safari guide, before working his way up through various senior management roles, eventually developing and opening his own award-winning 5* boutique hotel on Zanzibar in 2010, later sold to an upscale international hotel group. 
Bobby subsequently applied his broad expertise to a series of hospitality and property advisory roles, including to the Governments of United Kingdom, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Argentina, and executive leadership of hospitality trade associations, before spending 5 years in an executive management position in the planning of a $1.5bn mixed-use hospitality/residential/commercial resort development. 
Bobby's principal focus at CPS lies in the luxury hospitality and property sector, leveraging the crossover value of mixed-use, branded hospitality and residential schemes to build confidence in the nascent African luxury real estate sector.  
CPS are currently working on two innovative mixed-use developments, featuring a 4* Business/Conference Hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar and a 5* Business/Resort Hotel in South Beach, Dar es Salaam. 

Kivu Belt Projects

Presented by:

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Belise Kariza
Chief Tourism Officer - Rwanda Development Board

Belise Kariza

Chief Tourism Officer - Rwanda Development Board

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Belise Kariza is a multi-lingual professional with a strong educational background and practical training in International Business, Operations Management and Business Negotiations. She currently holds the position of Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board.

Appointed in September 2015 her core mandate is to drive the growth of Rwanda’s Tourism Sector as well as spearhead conservation efforts and programs for Rwanda’s Biodiversity. As Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza holds the position of Chairperson of the Great Virunga Trans-boundary Collaboration Secretariat, the organization that coordinates conservation efforts within DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. She also serves as Chair of the Joint Marketing Committee under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects. This initiative is a partnership between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to ensure joint promotion of the three countries as one region.

Prior to this appointment, Belise Kariza’s career was in the FMCG industry.   While working for Heineken N.V., she acquired extensive hands-on experience   in the areas of Marketing, Product Development and Investment portfolios, and also managed image building and market research activities.

Her credentials demonstrate strong capability and expertise   in   developing    and implementing government and corporate strategies. She has played a key strategic role in the execution of several international initiatives by various institutions; for example as project manager for Project EDEN’s (Customer Relationship Management / Sales Execution) pilot capacity building project in Rwanda.

Belise received a B.A in Marketing from Kigali Institute of Technology. She then pursued her second Bachelor Degree at the University of North Texas where she received a B.A in Finance. In 2010, she earned her MBA, with a specialization in Marketing Research from the American Intercontinental University, Atlanta Georgia. She is fluent in English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda.

13:30 - 14:30

Networking

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NETWORKING LUNCH

14:45 - 17:30

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Breakout Sessions

14:45
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ROOM 1 - Regional Market Focus

A look at the regional nuances of the African continent – What is the performance and pipeline of these markets? Where are the biggest opportunities and where do the challenges lie?

14:45 - 15:20

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ROOM 1 - West Africa Panel

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Charlotte Specht
Senior Consultant - Horwath HTL

Charlotte Specht

Senior Consultant - Horwath HTL

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Charlotte joined Horwath HTL in 2013 and currently serves as Director in Horwath HTL. She is in charge of the business development in West and Central Africa and opened Horwath HTL’s regional office in 2016, based in Abidjan.

Charlotte has specialized in Market and Feasibility studies for hotel development in the region, from the territorial analysis to the definition of the global concept and its operating conditions. Her other business skills include Due Diligence services, Appraisals and Hospitality Strategy.

She had the opportunity to work with a large panel of hotel industry actors, including international and regional investors, institutions, developers and operators and has a good understanding of every actor’s challenges.

Charlotte also regularly participates in hotel industry publications.

In conversation with: 

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Michael Cooper
Vice President Development West Africa - Hilton

Michael Cooper

Vice President Development West Africa - Hilton

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Michael is an international development specialist with expertise in identifying and developing global markets. He has set up profitable investment and joint venture companies throughout the world with experience in the hotel service sector, consumer goods, and the textile industry. A marketing strategist with expertise in trademarks, licenses and royalty agreements and a practiced public speaker, regularly giving presentations and lectures to international audiences.

A member of the Hilton Europe, Middle East & Africa development team responsible for developing a growth strategy to take full advantage of expansion opportunities across the African continent. Since January 2013 has helped develop a strategy for portfolio expansion coupled with specific development targets in identified major markets within the region currently concentrating on major market development across West Africa and Ethiopia.

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Soumobroto Ganguly
Deputy Managing Director - Genesis Group Nigeria

Soumobroto Ganguly

Deputy Managing Director - Genesis Group Nigeria

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Mr Ganguly joined Genesis Group Nigeria - with interests in hotels, food and cinemas - in early 2016 and has direct oversight of all businesses as well as central and staff functions of marketing, sales, finance, HR, IT and  procurement. Prior to Genesis, he was a consultant with specilaization in consumer media, hospitality, entertainment, retail, digital marketing and sports, as well as private equity and in M&A. He has worked with KPMG, Navis Capital, Infosys, TCG, Frontline Ventures and Milestone. Prior to consulting, Mr Ganguly was a transaction and trade coordinator for the law firm of Reed Smith. He obtained his BMP from Asian Institute of Management (Manila) and BA LLB from National Law School Of India (Bangalore). 

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Erwan Garnier
Director, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Erwan Garnier

Director, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

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Erwan has been part of the Africa Business Development team for two years with a focus on accelerating and executing the growth strategy in the French and Portuguese speaking territories of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Erwan has a Bachelor Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Hotel Management School of Paris and a MBA in International Hospitality Management, AACSB-EQUIS accredited majoring in Corporate Finance and Business Development from Cornell University and ESSEC Group – IMHI.

Erwan’s hospitality experience includes the launch and management of his own consulting firm in 2011 based out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Paris, France known as Mise en Place with impressive assignments in Brazil, Italy and USA. Before that Erwan worked for Hilton Worldwide (2007 to 2010) as a Director Brand Performance Support in London, UK focusing on the new Hilton Garden Inn brand. From 2004 to 2007 Erwan worked for the Accor Group as General Manager of the Red Roof San Francisco, USA and then at the Sofitel Bora Bora & Private Island in French Polynesia, Asia. From 2002 to 2004 Erwan was exposed to analyst, hotel valuation and investment while working for the Mazars Group in Madrid, Spain. Erwan also held the position of Assistant General Manager for the Jurysdoyle Hotel Group in Dublin, Ireland from 2001 to 2002.

Erwan native language is French, however he is also fluent in English and Portuguese with working knowledge in Spanish.

15:20 - 16:00

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ROOM 1 - East Africa Panel

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Mark Dunford
Head - East Africa - JLL

Mark Dunford

Head - East Africa - JLL

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As Vice President of the Hotels & Hospitality team for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mark leads assignments and projects in this region. Mark is a Swiss/British/Seychelles national with more than 10 years of experience in hotel advisory internationally and across Africa and the Indian Ocean region. His broad range of hotel and tourism sector experience includes operations, owner-operator structuring, brokerage, development and strategic advisory work across the globe including Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

Previous Positions include; Senior Consultant at a Swiss Hospitality Advisory firm providing strategic advice on hospitality and hotel development projects in over 50 countries. Development Director for Singaporean private equity fund KOP’s Spanish based Stein Management Company and Franklyn Hotels & Resorts where he was in charge of heading up the growth of the brand and asset portfolio. In addition, Mark previously worked for JLL Hotels in their London offices focusing on portfolio and single asset transactions. 

Mark’s diverse projects have included; accommodation advisor for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, developing hotels on a single asset and portfolio basis, destination development plans, brand and corporate strategies as well as the creation of learning centres in Asia, Europe and Africa. Mark holds a BS HES-SO in Hospitality Management from École Hôtelière de Lausanne.

In conversation with:

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Jean Byamugisha
Executive Director - Uganda Hotel Owners Association

Jean Byamugisha

Executive Director - Uganda Hotel Owners Association

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Jean Byamugisha is the CEO of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association, the only hotel trade association in Uganda’s tourism industry. The Uganda Hotel Owners’ Association (UHOA) was formed in May 2000, for purposes of lobbying and advocacy for better services and conducive tax laws for its associated members. With almost 500 hotels under its membership, UHOA is one of the largest and strongest private sector Associations in Uganda.

Jean holds a Bachelors Degree in Tourism Management from Makerere University as well as numerous other post graduate certifications. Jean previously worked at UHOA as Executive Secretary for 5 years before moving to the UN as Project Manager for a Hotel sector project aimed finding solutions for youth unemployment. She supervised two studies carried out on the hotel sector in Uganda. She worked for 2 years at the UN before leaving to take up her current position as the CEO of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association in April 2015. Jean became the first woman CEO in the history of the Association as well as one of the youngest CEO’s in Uganda. 

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Karim Cheltout
Vice President - Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

Karim Cheltout

Vice President - Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

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Karim has over 18 years of experience in hotel real estate development, finance and investments. In his current role, Karim is focusing on increasing Marriott International's footprint in North and East Africa, as well as the holy cities in Saudi Arabia. with emphasis on the region's fastest-growing hotel and travel markets. Prior to joining Marriott International in 2010, Karim was a Director at Istithmar where he was responsible for origination and acquisitions of hotel and leisure opportunities globally. Prior to that, Karim was with Ernst & Young Transactions Real Estate Advisory in the MENA office. Karim started his career in hotel operations and consulting. He has advised many hospitality companies, investors and lenders on M&A transactions, strategy and development opportunities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  Holds a Masters in Hospitality Administration from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, in Switzerland.

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Daniel Sambai
Country Manager - Serena Hotels Rwanda

Daniel Sambai

Country Manager - Serena Hotels Rwanda

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Daniel Sambai is the Country Manager for Serena Hotels in Rwanda with the responsibility of overseeing both the Kigali Serena Hotel and Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. Prior to being posted to Rwanda, Mr. Sambai worked for Serena Hotels in Tanzania and Kenya.

Mr. Sambai has a broad and varied experience in the hospitality industry spanning over 15 years majorly in East Africa and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Sambai holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa and a Diploma in Hotel Management from Kenya Utalii College.

16:00 - 16:40

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ROOM 1 - Southern Africa Panel

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Michelè de Witt
Director - Horwath HTL (South Africa)

Michelè de Witt

Director - Horwath HTL (South Africa)

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Michelè has 25 years experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, including work in hotel operations at various up-scale and luxury properties in South Africa; work in the hospitality academic arena as the South African co-ordinator responsible for the implementation of the Swiss Hotel Association’s curriculum in the country, and providing hospitality consulting services in various countries including South Africa, Algeria, Botswana, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Reunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Michelè’s experience covers a wide range of activities enabling her to provide a spectrum of services from market analyses, concept development and financial feasibility studies for new projects; operator selection to trouble-shooting for existing operations; and developing and implementing operating standards, policies and procedures to identifying education, training and development initiatives to support organisational objectives. Michelè joined Horwath HTL South Africa in 2004 and currently holds the position of Managing Director.

Michelè has served on various tourism and hospitality committees in South Africa. Since 2005, Michelè has served on the Board of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, Cape (FEDHASA Cape) and in 2012 was elected Chairperson of FEDHASA Cape for a two-year term. Michelè is also a member of the South African Property Owners Association and the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa.

Michelè holds a National Diploma in Hotel Management from ML Sultan Hotel School, South Africa as well as a National Diploma in Management Accounting and Finance conferred by the Independent Institute of Education and endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Business Management, South Africa.

In conversation with:

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Sir Richard Hawkins Bt.
Regional Director Hotel Operations – Africa - Minor Hotels

Sir Richard Hawkins Bt.

Regional Director Hotel Operations – Africa - Minor Hotels

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Sir Richard Hawkins is Director for the Minor Hotel Group in Africa, where he is responsible for driving the performance of Minor Hotels’ properties in sub-Sahara Africa and leading its team of professional managers. He is also tasked with growing the Group’s footprint on the African continent, spearheading its goal to grow from 25 hotels to 50 hotels in Africa within the next five years.

Before joining Minor Hotels in 2015, Hawkins fulfilled various roles within the Sun International hotel group, including being the Managing Executive for Sun City, and overseeing operations for the Royal Swazi Sun complex, the Botswana Sun international operations, the Kalahari Sands (now AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino) in Namibia, and the Fish River Sun.

Hawkins holds a B Comm Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand, a B Comm Hons from the University of South Africa, and is a CA (SA) specialising in Mining. 

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Graham Howard
Director: Hospitality, Gaming & Development - United Africa Group (Pty) Ltd

Graham Howard

Director: Hospitality, Gaming & Development - United Africa Group (Pty) Ltd

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After qualifying as a Hotelier in 1983, Graham worked with various well known hotel groups namely; Holiday Inn, Sun International, and Legacy Hotel Group. In 2005 Graham joined UAG as Director of United Africa Hospitality, and shortly after became Regional Director for Protea Hotels Namibia. Graham has also held the position of Chairperson of the Namibian Tourism Board whilst working at UAG. Graham has also spent time on developing and expanding the United Africa Hospitality portfolio in Namibia and beyond. In 2009, Graham was appointed as Development Director for United Africa Hospitality, and in 2012 Director for both Development and Operations, Graham was recently appointed as the Director of Gaming and Hospitality.

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Simone Kuhn
Manager, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Simone Kuhn

Manager, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean - The Rezidor Hotel Group

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A South African National, Simone is based at Carlson Rezidor’s Africa Development office in Cape Town, South Africa. Simone is part of the team responsible for growing the company’s dynamic portfolio of hotels and brands in across sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Carlson Rezidor currently has 77 hotels in operation and under development in 29 countries in Africa – under either their upper upscale Radisson Blu brand, upscale lifestyle select Radisson Red brand, upper midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or the luxury Quorvus Collection brand.

Simone was literally born into the hotel industry through her father who was a General Manager for Sun International Hotels & Casinos for many years under Sol Kerzner. Her own career in the hotel industry started in 2000 after being enrolled in an in-house training programme at the Savoy Hotel in London.  Thereafter, Simone held management positions within hotel operations in South Africa and the United Kingdom with Relais & Châteaux and Starwood. In December 2008, Simone decided to see the world and took up the challenge of an on-board F&B Manager position for Etihad Airlines based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In May 2011 Simone joined the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and now forms part of the fasting growing hotel group in Africa looking after 10 Anglophone countries some of which include Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

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Geri Wessels
Director Development, Sub-Saharan Africa - Hilton

Geri Wessels

Director Development, Sub-Saharan Africa - Hilton

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Upon her return to South Africa at the start of 2013, Geri gained valuable experience by conducting market research in sub-Saharan Africa as a hospitality analyst. She joined Hilton in June 2013 as part of the development team to assist in realizing the growing number of opportunities on the African continent. Geri is responsible for securing exciting new projects in the SADC region. Prior to her return to South Africa, Geri was based in the United Arab Emirates for five years, focusing on development in the Middle East and North Africa hotel markets. 


Hilton, present on the continent for over 50 years, currently operates 39 hotels in Africa and the Indian Ocean with ambitious plans to double that number within the next five years. The company has 44 hotels with more than 10,000 rooms in its Africa development pipeline.

16:40 - 17:20
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ROOM 1 - North Africa Panel

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Martin Jansen van Vuuren
Director - Grant Thornton

Martin Jansen van Vuuren

Director - Grant Thornton

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Martin is a director at Grant Thornton and for the past 18 years has specialised in advisory services to the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry throughout Africa.  The advisory services include feasibility studies, economic impact studies, financial and business evaluations, market research, strategy and transaction advice to both the public and private sector.

In conversation with:

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Réda Faceh
VP Development Northern & Western Africa - AccorHotels

Réda Faceh

VP Development Northern & Western Africa - AccorHotels

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Réda started his career in Paris at Xerox spending two years working as Key Account Manager.

His career with Accor started in 2001 and Reda has had the responsibility of defining, deploying and managing the sales strategy of Accor Morocco from luxury to economic segments during 8 years as Country Sales Director.

Since 2008 he has held the position of Development Director for Morocco after being promoted in 2012 as Development Director for Morocco, Tunisia & Libya.

From 2009 to 2012, Reda has had also the responsibility as Board member to launch the joint-venture SMHE which has developed the first low-cost hotels chain in Morocco with Ibis Budget Hotels.

As VP Development from 2014, Réda is responsible for the development of AccorHotels brands from luxury to economic segments in Northern & Western Africa.

Réda Faceh holds a Master in “Service Industry Management” from EM Lyon Business School in Lyon (France).

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Christophe Kundig
Director of Development Africa - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Christophe Kundig

Director of Development Africa - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

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Christophe graduated from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Switzerland with a master degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and holds a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management Cornell University, USA.
 
Prior to joining Mӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts, Christophe worked as an associate manager for Colliers International  in Dubai on various types of project development across diverse locations such as UAE, Qatar, Seychelles, Tunisia, Togo, Saudi Arabia spanning from mixed-use and specialized hotel projects. He conducted market and financial feasibility study, operator selection as well as site`s highest and best use study.
 
He previously worked within Hyatt International Technical Services department, in Dubai, dedicated to the South West Asia, where he played a predominant role, during several months, in the Park Hyatt Hyderabad (India) opening.  
 
Additionally, Christophe gained an extensive banking experience during almost a decade in private banking for a leading Swiss organization Switzerland. He performed due diligence on potential clients, market analysis and investment proposals as well as coordinated and assisted with management of client portfolios.

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Ramsay Rankoussi
Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ramsay Rankoussi

Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa - The Rezidor Hotel Group

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Based in Dubai, Ramsay co-leads Carlson Rezidor’s strategic growth in the Middle East and North Africa.
With responsibility for increasing the Group’s regional hotel portfolio, Ramsay is a recognized deal expert leading each transaction from sourcing to execution; proficient in legal contract negotiations, due diligence and financial analysis. 

Ramsay has successfully executed the overall Group's strategy every year since joining with his geographic mandate currently translating over 50% of the global pipeline for the Rezidor Hotel Group.
Ramsay previously led the investment arm of Millennium Hotels & Resorts, one of the Middle East’s leading and fastest growing hotel groups. During this time, he helped take the company into the top 10 ranks in the region.
A Belgian National, Ramsay is fluent in multiple languages and with a multi-cultural background. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA majoring in Hotel Real Estate Finance and Asset Management from the ESSEC Business School (IMHI) in Paris.

14:45
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ROOM 2 - The Development Den

14:45 - 15:30

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ROOM 2 - The cost of hotel opening delays - what can be done?

Dealing with one of the biggest development issues in Africa – Hotel opening delays. How can owners and developers avoid delays and the costs associated with them? What can operators do to support owners in the development process? What fast and cost efficient approaches of construction should be considered? How to find the right partners and project manager to bring a project to completion in a cost-effective and timely manner.

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Mark Martinovic
Chief Executive Officer - Hotel Spec

Mark Martinovic

Chief Executive Officer - Hotel Spec

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Having grown up in an hotel from the age of 5, Mark founded Hotel Spec in 2003. Drawing from his life experience in the hospitality industry, Mark created a specialist consulting firm dealing with all aspects of hotel design, project management, development and technical services, procurement, installations and commissioning of new and refurbished hotel properties.

Hotel Spec to date has worked on over 100 projects in 24 countries with international brands such as Radisson Blu, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Hilton, Mövenpick, Melia, Mandarin Oriental and Sheraton to name a few.

Prior to forming Hotel Spec, Mark worked in the hotel industry for 13 years in Southern Africa and in the UK. Including properties like the Palace of the Lost City at Sun City, Wild Coast Sun Hotel, Resort and Casino, Kensington Palace Hotel, and others, Mark gained experience from restaurant management, banqueting, housekeeping, Rooms Division Management and held the position of Hotel Manager on Renaissance Cruises, Food & Beverage Director of the Palace at Sun City, Hotel Manager Serenite Resort amongst others.

In conversation with:

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Mossadeck Bally
Chief Executive Officer - Azalaï Hotels Group

Mossadeck Bally

Chief Executive Officer - Azalaï Hotels Group

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Mr. Bally is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Azalaï Hotels Group.

In 1994, he acquired the mythical “Grand Hôtel de Bamako”. In 2000, he built the Salam Hotel, and managed Hotel Nord Sud. In 2005, he consolidated the activities of the various properties under a common brand “Azalaï Hotels”. The Azalaï Hotels Group expanded to Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Benin and more recently to Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinee Conakry and Niger.

Azalaï Hotels Group is today the first African private hotel chain group in the West African Region, providing direct employment to about 900 persons and over 2000 indirectly.

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Andrew Forte
Vice President, Architecture, Design & Construction, MEA - Hilton

Andrew Forte

Vice President, Architecture, Design & Construction, MEA - Hilton

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Andrew Forte has been responsible for overseeing asset improvement and project activity for the company’s growing hotel portfolio in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) since 2012.  This included the design and construction of properties in Hilton’s development pipeline, currently the most active in the region.

Heading an 18-strong team of Project Directors and Designers, Forte joined Hilton’s MEA operation following an extensive 14-year career with the company in UK and Continental Europe.  Forte’s experience covers all technical aspects of the hospitality property sector and he has also been key in helping Hilton to develop increasingly sustainable energy management and alternative energy systems.

During his time in MEA he has supported the roll out of both the upper upscale Curio Collection and midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the region and also pioneered innovative construction techniques custom designed for developing markets. 

A proficient public speaker, Forte speaks fluent English, Maltese and Italian.  He is based at the company’s MEA area office in Dubai.  

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Chris Titmas
Director - Profica International

Chris Titmas

Director - Profica International

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15:30 - 16:15

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ROOM 2 - Beyond Greenfields

Looking at conversion, takeover, rebranding and renovation opportunities of existing properties.

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Andrew Linwood
Head of Design - Areen Hospitality Design

Andrew Linwood

Head of Design - Areen Hospitality Design

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As Head of Areen Design’s Hospitality Division, Andrew is involved in, and monitors all aspects of a project: from initial client contact, brief and concept development through to documentation and site installation.

Andrew has designed insightful interiors for many of the world’s leading hotel operators including Hilton, Marriott-Starwood, Radisson, Accor, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels Group. The concept for each project is anchored in the site, situation and cultural condition of the building and the community it inhabits. Andrew believes that a design can only be considered truly successful if it achieves integration with its local environment.

After gaining a degree in Interior Design in London and working in the UK and Europe, Andrew became Managing Director of regional Interiors group GTD in Hong Kong and Singapore. He went on to become Senior Project Designer with globally-renowned hospitality specialists Hirsch Bedner Associates in Singapore and London, designing luxury projects in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia and Thailand. 
On his return to the UK he was invited to become an Associate at Richmond International - part of the Areen Group - and in 2008 he established Areen Design’s Hospitality Division.

As well as regularly featuring in hospitality publications, Andrew is a seasoned public speaker, frequently invited to leading industry events and exhibitions to share his unparalleled insight into design, and the challenges facing developers and operators in today’s socioeconomic climate.

Areen Design is currently working on projects across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Central Asia and China.

In conversation with:

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Alexis Janoray
Vice President Development Sub-Saharan Africa - AccorHotels

Alexis Janoray

Vice President Development Sub-Saharan Africa - AccorHotels

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Alexis Janoray is a VP in charge of Sub Saharan Africa development at AccorHotels since 2016.

He was previously a banker for more than ten years specialized in structured and acquisition financing.

Alexis has spent the last five years at Proparco, the French private sector development bank, where he originated, structured and closed numerous transactions in Africa and in the hospitality sector in particular.

Alexis is a graduate from Paris Dauphine University and holds a master in corporate finance from EM Lyon business School.

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Panos Loupasis
Vice President Development – Middle East & Africa - Wyndham Hotel Group

Panos Loupasis

Vice President Development – Middle East & Africa - Wyndham Hotel Group

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Panos, a Greek national holds a BSc in Economics from the Aristotelian University in Greece and an MBA in International Hospitality Management from IMHI, a program established by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

Panos, started his career in the hospitality industry on an operational level in properties in Europe, the United States and the Middle East.

He moved to the Middle East in 2003 as Revenue Manager for the Novotel and Ibis World Trade Centre in Dubai before moving into the field of business development with Holiday Inn Express where his contribution was instrumental for the introduction of the brand in the GCC.

In 2007 Panos joined The Rezidor Hotel Group as Regional Director of Business Development where he drove growth for Rezidor through the execution of management contracts. His most recent position was with Taameer Real Estate Investment Co where Panos undertook various tasks ranging from business development, to equity raising, asset- and project management.

Since 2011 Panos is with the Wyndham Hotel Group. His role is to drive growth in the Middle East and Africa by focusing on new markets and the introduction of new brands under both management and franchise contracts.

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Amit Patel
Director - Coral Beach Club Limited

Amit Patel

Director - Coral Beach Club Limited

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Amit is a Director with Coral Beach Club Limited, a hospitality development and management company based in Tanzania that owns and operates the Best Western Coral Beach and Best Western Plus Peninsula hotels in Dar es Salaam. The Company was the first to launch the brand in East Africa. Amit is responsible for the strategic growth of the business including future developments and partnerships in the region. Prior to joining the hospitality business in Tanzania in 2015, he was a US-based management consultant for 8 years (ScottMadden Inc., IBM Global Services). Amit has an M.B.A. in Finance from Emory University’s Goizeuta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is a Board Member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania and a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). 

16:15 - 17:00

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ROOM 2 - Assessing gaps within the market

With oversupply in certain markets and shortage of branded supply in others, how do
you know if the market needs your product? Understanding the demand drivers and
where the gaps are in the market.

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Saahil A. Lalit
Associate Director, Hotels (MENA Region) - Colliers International

Saahil A. Lalit

Associate Director, Hotels (MENA Region) - Colliers International

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Saahil has 10 years of industry experience within the hospitality and tourism domain with over eight years of experience in hospitality development and investment advisory within the MENA region. Over the past eight years, Saahil has worked with different profiles of clients such as developers, investors/ investment funds, hotel operators, tourism ministries and multilateral organizations such as UNWTO. Saahil’s project experience includes hotels & resorts (standalone/ multiple assets or hotel portfolio/ chain development), leisure/ entertainment (theme parks and water parks), malls, mixed use developments/ integrated tourism developments and tourism master plans/ tourism strategies. The main markets that he has covered for such assignments are GCC, North and East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. 

In conversation with:

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Philippe Baretaud
Senior Vice President, Head of Development Africa & Indian Ocean - AccorHotels

Philippe Baretaud

Senior Vice President, Head of Development Africa & Indian Ocean - AccorHotels

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As Head of Development Philippe is responsible for the development of AccorHotels brands from luxury to economic segments in Africa.

Before taking over this position, Philippe, from 2012 to 2014, was in charge of coordinating and supporting AccorHotels Development Teams in Europe, Middle East & Africa.

As Head of Development in UK he was also based for 6 years in London between 2001 and 2006, before going to Dubai to lead AccorHotels Development in Middle East for 5 years.

Previously, Philippe worked for AccorHotels in France and Europe. He started his career in 1986 in the French public sector where he was in charge of economic and social development for a region.

Philippe has a Degree in law and a MBA.

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Jair Conceição
Business Developer - Cabo International Partners B.V. (CIP)

Jair Conceição

Business Developer - Cabo International Partners B.V. (CIP)

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Jair Conceição is a business developer with a broad network in diverse industries. Has a wide experience at accounting and consulting firms like EY and Deloitte. Worked for multinational clients, governmental institutions, small and medium sized clients in diverse sectors. Also has wide experience with real estate and pension funds with active interest in high-value property development, luxury hospitality, logistics and maritime industry. Is responsible for building a portfolio of high yield real estate assets on the Cabo Verde Islands that is emerging as a hub for tourism and trade in West Africa.

As a business developer at Cabo International Partners B.V. (CIP) he is involved in creating opportunities for European and Asian companies that want to use the emerging African business hub Cabo Verde to make an entry on the African market. Jair Conceição holds a degree in Economics from the University of Inholland of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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Andrew Langdon
Chief Development Officer - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Andrew Langdon

Chief Development Officer - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

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Andrew Langdon joined the company in 2015 as Senior Vice President for Asia. In this role Andrew supervises Movenpick Hotels and Resorts operations throughout the Asia Pacific. 

As of December2016 he is the global Chief Development Officer of Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, responsible for overseeing the group’s hotel development strategy worldwide.
 
He has a well-established track record throughout the Asian region. Over 25 years of diverse property experience, the majority specialising in the hospitality sector, particularly in asset management, hotel management agreements, capital markets, investment, financing and development. 

Prior to joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Andrew was an Executive Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotels and Hospitality Group in Asia. He is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry conferences and universities, and the author of published articles on the hotel and tourism industry.

Andrew graduated in his native Australia from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Business and he is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).

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Bernard Micallef
Senior Industry Specialist - Hotels, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services - International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Bernard Micallef

Senior Industry Specialist - Hotels, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services - International Finance Corporation (IFC)

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Glion Hotel School graduate with 30 years experience within the hospitality industry in various countries. I have held various positions within leading hotel companies such as Hilton, Corinthia Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts and have also headed Glion Consulting Services in Switzerland.  Prior to joining IFC I was the Managing Director for the Donbass Palace the first luxury hotel in Ukraine and the Opera Hotel Ukraine both members of the Leading Hotels of the World and have also acted as the Owner's Representative for the development and opening of the Hyatt Regency Kiev.

As Senior Industry Specialist at IFC my role is to provide industry expertise and analysis throughout the project investment cycle including establishing the strategy for hotel investments, business development, screening and appraising hotel investments.  I also help manage a portfolio of around 50 investments with a focus on the more challenging projects.

14:45

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ROOM 3 - The Conversation Den

Intimate interactive sessions which invite questions and discussion from the audience

14:45 - 15:30

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ROOM 3 - Operating Models: What you need to know

Exploring the various types of structures available for your asset: management contracts, franchises, leasing. Is the market/region mature enough to look outside HMAs?

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Scott Antel
Partner, Head of Hospitality and Leisure MEA - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

Scott Antel

Partner, Head of Hospitality and Leisure MEA - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

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Scott Antel is an internationally regarded emerging markets hotels & hospitality lawyer.  He has more than 20 years’ experience advising both owners/developers and international operators in the Middle East, Russia/CIS, Turkey, the Baltics and Asia on hotel, branded residence and mixed use developments.

A senior partner in BLP's Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices, Scott recently joined BLP to lead the firm's "tier one" global Hospitality Practice in the Middle East as well as focus on developing the Russian, African and Asia Pacific practices.

Scott regularly advises clients on all aspects of hotel, branded residence and mixed use development as well as operational matters, including litigation.  He has acted on hundreds of hotel projects, including numerous landmark projects with major international hotel brands.  He most recently advised on several luxury hotel and branded residence projects on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah.  He also works in the franchise sector advising hotels, restaurants and retail clients. 

Scott is recognised as a “leading advisor” and “go to hospitality lawyer” by Chambers Europe and Legal 500 law directories.  He serves on the advisory board of the Russian and Arabian Hotel Investment Forums and is a regular speaker at these events, as well the Berlin IHIF event where he recently chaired a panel on hotel investment opportunities and challenges in Iran.  He is regularly published and quoted on hospitality related topics in various media.
Scott was recipient of the Russia/CIS Hotel Investment Forum's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry in emerging markets, the only lawyer to ever receive this prestigious award.

In conversation with:

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Ramzy Fenianos
Vice President Development – EMEA - Minor Hotels

Ramzy Fenianos

Vice President Development – EMEA - Minor Hotels

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As part of Minor Hotels, Ramzy Fenianos is the Vice President Development, Europe, Middle East & Africa, based in Dubai and leads the expansion of new hotels and growing the various Minor Hotels brands across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Ramzy has over ten years of extensive experience in hospitality and real estate focusing on the areas of business development, strategic planning and asset management in international hospitality branding and business development, including with Bouygues Real Estate Group and Emerige Group in France, and SamaDubai Holding Group and IFA Hotels & Resorts in Dubai. His last role prior to joining Minor Hotels was with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide where he held the position of Vice President Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa. 

Ramzy is French/Lebanese and fluent in English, French and Arabic. He holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Finance, Major Investments and Developments from ESPI in France as well as an Advanced Certification in Real Estate and Hotel Investment from Cornell University in the United States. 

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Neil George
Board Adviser - CityBlue Hotels

Neil George

Board Adviser - CityBlue Hotels

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Neil is adviser to the board of CityBlue Hotels, a rapidly growing mid-market Africa hotel chain and Founder and CEO of InnSight Advisory, a boutique hotel investment and development advisory firm.  

Within his 25 years of experience in the hotel industry and an international career spanning the US, Europe, the UK, Africa and the Middle East, Neil has held roles in hotel operations, consultancy, corporate finance and development.  Neil was previously SVP Acquisitions & Development at Starwood, responsible for Africa and the Middle East and prior to that, he was based in London in various roles as an industry expert with Deloitte and Arthur Andersen and has advised most major industry players during this time. 
 
Neil holds a Masters degree in hospitality management from Cornell University, New York. 

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Andrew Langdon
Chief Development Officer - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Andrew Langdon

Chief Development Officer - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

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Andrew Langdon joined the company in 2015 as Senior Vice President for Asia. In this role Andrew supervises Movenpick Hotels and Resorts operations throughout the Asia Pacific. 

As of December2016 he is the global Chief Development Officer of Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, responsible for overseeing the group’s hotel development strategy worldwide.
 
He has a well-established track record throughout the Asian region. Over 25 years of diverse property experience, the majority specialising in the hospitality sector, particularly in asset management, hotel management agreements, capital markets, investment, financing and development. 

Prior to joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Andrew was an Executive Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotels and Hospitality Group in Asia. He is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry conferences and universities, and the author of published articles on the hotel and tourism industry.

Andrew graduated in his native Australia from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Business and he is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).

15:30 - 16:15

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ROOM 3 - Serviced Apartments

What are the drivers for this increasingly popular segment, how is it performing and where are they key areas for growth? 

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Trevor Ward
Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

Trevor Ward

Managing Director - W Hospitality Group

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Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality, leisure and real estate industries. He is the Managing Director of the Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, and Chairman of Hotel Partners Africa. 

His industry experience spans over 40 years, and includes advising clients on hotel, tourism and leisure development in over 90 countries across the globe, and in 39 in Africa.  With a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa, he works with many of the international hotel groups seeking a presence there, and with financial institutions, investors and entrepreneurs across the continent.  He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy, ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, asset management, valuations and agency.

In conversation with:

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Karl de Lacy
International Development Director - Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Karl de Lacy

International Development Director - Best Western Hotels & Resorts

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Karl is responsible for the development of the Best Western brands in Africa.  Following a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Business Management from the Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies (now University College Birmingham) he began his hospitality career with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Atlanta Georgia and St. Louis Missouri.  He returned to Ireland as Director of Rooms Operations with Marriott International.  Since joining Best Western the brand has opened a selection of Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier hotels in Kenya, Nigeria, Benin & Ghana joining existing properties in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.  With two hotels coming in Addis Ababa and projects in destinations throughout Africa (Stone Town, Zanzibar; Entebbe, Uganda and projects in Ghana and Nigeria) Best Western continues to grow its presence and activities in the region.

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Selim El Zein
AVP – Hospitality - Deyaar

Selim El Zein

AVP – Hospitality - Deyaar

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Selim specializes in hotel development & asset management for standalone, mixed use and portfolio level hotel projects, and is a specialist in hotel management agreements, hotel operator search & selection, and market financial studies.
Selim’s extensive knowledge of hotel operations allows him to enhance hotel profitability and drive asset value by carrying out strategic operational and financial reviews. . Currently he is responsible for overseeing the hospitality function at Deyaar PJSC for their pipeline of upcoming hotels.

Selim has worked in the tourism and  hotel industry for the past 23 years at an international level. The early part of his career has included experience in tour and hotel operations, finance, F&B and Human Resources.
Having worked for leading organizations in hotel asset development, management, hotel operators, and developers, Selim is an all rounded hotel real estate professional.

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Dhruv Pandit
CEO - Fedha Group

Dhruv Pandit

CEO - Fedha Group

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Dhruv has since 2006 been the CEO of Fedha Group , a group of real estate development companies in Kenya with significant interests in Residential, Commercial, Retail and Hospitality. Following his graduation from the London School of Economics, was a career banker for 12 years ultimately leading the full acquisition of the family bank by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. He is also a non-executive Director of Saham Assurance Co. Kenya Ltd. and the Africa Regional Forum Officer 2017/2019 of YPO. Fedha Group owns Executive Residency by Best Western, Nairobi (opened November 2016) which is the first in the world of this new brand of Best Western, and one of the very few internationally branded aparthotels in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fedha Group is also developing Capital M - a marquee high rise residential project in Nairobi which is the first to target investors with a specific Airbnb product.

16:15 - 17:00

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ROOM 3 - Leveraging mixed-use

With Mixed use leading the development space in Africa, how can hoteliers ensure their involvement in these projects? As retail & office attract funding, how can the hotel element tap into this source of financing?

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Charlotte Specht
Senior Consultant - Horwath HTL

Charlotte Specht

Senior Consultant - Horwath HTL

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Charlotte joined Horwath HTL in 2013 and currently serves as Director in Horwath HTL. She is in charge of the business development in West and Central Africa and opened Horwath HTL’s regional office in 2016, based in Abidjan.

Charlotte has specialized in Market and Feasibility studies for hotel development in the region, from the territorial analysis to the definition of the global concept and its operating conditions. Her other business skills include Due Diligence services, Appraisals and Hospitality Strategy.

She had the opportunity to work with a large panel of hotel industry actors, including international and regional investors, institutions, developers and operators and has a good understanding of every actor’s challenges.

Charlotte also regularly participates in hotel industry publications.

In conversation with:

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Edmund Asamoah
Managing Director - A&C Development Co Ltd.

Edmund Asamoah

Managing Director - A&C Development Co Ltd.

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  • Edmund K. Asamoah has a BS degree in Finance and BA in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
  • Co-founder & Director of Project Development of MyGetaway Group Co Ltd
  • Co-founder & Managing Director of A&C Development Co. Ltd.
  • Instrumental in developing the concept and implementation of the first shopping mall in Ghana (A&C Mall) 
  • Developed and implemented strategy in evolving the centre into Accra’s first mixed use development
  • 12+ years in retail, commercial, hotel & residential real estate development & construction projects in Ghana worth over USD100M.
  • Over 20 years of leadership experience in senior management and consulting roles.
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Yiu Tung (Billy) Cheung
Founder and Chairman, Master Assets Investments Ltd. - Chairman, Century Park Hotel & Residences Ltd

Yiu Tung (Billy) Cheung

Founder and Chairman, Master Assets Investments Ltd. - Chairman, Century Park Hotel & Residences Ltd

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Mr. Cheung Yiu Cheung was born in Guangzhou, China. He is the Founder and Chairman of Master Assets Investments Limited, a Group Company with its Head Office located in Hong Kong and with various operation based Offices in Eastern Africa and China.

For years his Company has been the market leader supplying building materials, hotel supplies and equipment to major customers in the East African Region. He then noticed the investment potential of real estate developments in East African Countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. This is due to the unprecedented economic growth in this countries that is supported by macro stability, structural reforms and market liberalisation, as well as natural resources. As a result of this his business activities evolved to serve this market.

Master Assets Investments made a huge contribution to real estate developments in the East African Region by means of various property development projects, but Mr. Cheung and his team are particularly proud of the Century Park Hotel and Residences as it brings a new dimension of affordable state of the art living to Kigali, Rwanda.

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Costas Verginis
Vice President Lodging & Mixed-Use Development MEA - Marriott International

Costas Verginis

Vice President Lodging & Mixed-Use Development MEA - Marriott International

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Costas leads the growth of branded residences for all Marriott brands across Middle East and Africa. 

Costas is a hospitality professional with 20+ years experience in the hospitality industry and has served the hospitality industry in various capacities, namely hotel operations, hospitality education, hospitality consultancy and hotel lodging development. Costas held various roles in Switzerland, Cyprus, UK, Greece and the UAE.

Before joining Marriott International,  Costas led Deloitte’s hospitality and real estate Middle East consulting team, and in this capacity he has advised many major developers and hotel owners across the Middle East in areas of corporate strategy, strategic growth, competitive strategy, business planning, hotel asset management, hotel operator selection and market trend analysis.

Costas holds a Ph.D. in real estate real estate finance. He started his education in a Swiss hotel school, followed by a Master’s Degree and Doctoral degree at the Strathclyde Business School in the UK.

18:00 - 21:00

Networking

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Networking Reception

Hosted by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Company