Africa Hospitality Investment Forum set to stimulate economic growth

Niël Terblanché

Windhoek is set to become the epicentre of the African hospitality industry as it welcomes more than 300 investors, business leaders, government officials, and expert advisors for the Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) 2024.

The event, which will be held from 25 to 27 June, marks the first time AHIF is hosted in southern Africa, following Namibia’s successful bid facilitated by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB).

The NIPDB, serving as the host partner, has already secured N$1 million in corporate sponsorship, underscoring the significance of this event.

Sven Thieme, the executive chairman and managing director of O&L Leisure, while announcing the company’s sponsorship of the event in Windhoek, lauded the NIPDB’s efforts in securing the bid.

He said that winning the bid is evidence of Namibia’s commitment to showcasing its tourism potential on an international stage.

“The NIPDB shares O&L Leisure’s vision of positioning and marketing Namibia as a premium destination, offering world-class experiences. Together, we strive to bring Namibia’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and exceptional hospitality to the forefront of the international tourism industry,” said Thieme.

AHIF is renowned for being Africa’s premier investment forum, drawing top-tier international hotel investors.

The forum plays a crucial role in driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure, and hospitality development across the continent and is poised to impact Namibia’s tourism sector significantly.

Nangula Uaandja the chief executive officer of the NIPDB, stressed the strategic importance of AHIF for Namibia’s economic diversification efforts.

“Tourism has been identified as a potential key driver for economic growth. With the high calibre of investors, hoteliers, and financiers attending, we are leveraging the convening power of AHIF to showcase investment opportunities in this sector, aiming to secure investments that ensure a sustainable future for Namibians,” Uaandja said.

Uaandja expects the event to bring tangible economic benefits, stimulating demand for hotel accommodation, transportation, restaurant services, and peripheral services like curio and gifting products. Uaandja also highlighted the long-term goal of positioning Namibia as a business tourism destination, supported by the establishment of the Namibia Convention Bureau.

In a show of support, FirstRand Namibia Group, through FNB Commercial and RMB, also announced a N$500,000 sponsorship for AHIF.

Connie-Marlene Theyse, Head of Enterprise Banking at FNB Namibia, acknowledged the tourism industry’s role in job creation and social upliftment and reiterated the group’s commitment to enhancing Namibia’s competitiveness and economic growth.

Margareth Gustavo, the NIPDB’s Executive Director for Strategy and Branding, applauded FirstRand Namibia’s consistent support and collaboration on various investment promotion and MSME development projects.

“This sponsorship is about more than financial support; it’s about bringing together diverse stakeholders to develop Namibia. We look forward to continued collaboration and participation in development projects aimed at making Namibia a thriving and prosperous nation,” Gustavo said.

The forum will feature discussions on topics such as government initiatives to support hospitality, hotel development, investing in Namibia, and the impact of the New Global Geopolitical Order on hospitality.

President Nangolo Mbumba is set to formally open the event, with other speakers including Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and several top executives poised to drive transformative projects.

Gustavo said that hosting the AHIF 2024 is a significant milestone for Namibia, reflecting its growing stature as a premier destination for tourism investment and showcasing its potential to the world.

Related Posts