The AHIF will present more investment opportunities

Martin Endjala

The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), Nagula Uaandja, expressed that winning the bid to host the Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) 2024 isn’t solely a triumph for Namibia but also a testament to its burgeoning potential.

The forum, recognized as Africa’s foremost tourism and hotel investment conference, promises to draw an array of distinguished international hoteliers, investors, financiers, and management companies. The event is slated for 25 – 27 June 2024 in Windhoek.

Uaandja passionately voiced her belief that the AHIF 2024 presents a golden opportunity for Namibia’s landscapes to bask in the spotlight.

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of the global hospitality investment fraternity. We invite them to unearth the latent potential of our tourism sector. Namibia, with its enchanting vistas, promises to captivate every visitor at first glance,” Uaandja said.

Beyond its natural allure, Uaandja stated that Namibia is dedicated to nurturing its citizens through fostering foreign investments that spur economic growth and job generation.

She said the government’s unwavering commitment to maintaining a propitious investment milieu. This environment is buttressed by forward-thinking regulatory measures, a robust legal framework, smooth profit repatriation processes, and an independent judiciary which safeguards investors’ rights, ensuring any potential disputes can be amicably resolved via the courts or international arbitration.

The AHIF experience promises to be multifaceted. The preceding weekend will showcase a series of excursions allowing participants to witness Namibia’s premier hospitality ventures and tourist attractions firsthand.

This includes enchanting desert views, adrenaline-fueled sports, and thrilling safaris featuring rare species such as black and white rhinos, antelope, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, ostriches, and zebras. These expeditions aim to educate attendees while fostering valuable networking opportunities.

Uaandja also provided a snapshot of the tourism sector, noting its consistent growth in the seven years leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, annual visitor growth averaged about five percent, with numbers escalating from nearly 1.2 million in 2012 to 1.6 million in 2019.

However, 2020 witnessed a significant decline due to the pandemic, with visitor counts plunging to under 200,000. Nonetheless, 2021 saw a recovery of 40 percent, and a remarkable 98.1 percent surge, reaching 461,027 visitors, in 2022.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of the Bench which will co-present the AHIF, remarked that investing in Africa necessitates an open-minded approach.

He stressed the importance of exploring new locales, forging new connections, and considering alternate perspectives to truly seize the continent’s myriad opportunities.

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