A team from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) led by the President, Jean-Louis Ekra, recently visited the Radisson Blu Abidjan Airport Hotel, which is under construction, to assess the progress of work.
Receiving the team, the developers said that the 262-room hotel, which is being developed with a Euro 29 million financing provided by the Bank, will be completed in March 2015 and that all the necessary approvals and clearances had been received from the hotel management company. According to them, everything is in place for an early opening of the hotel.
“This transaction is central to Cote d’Ivoire’s hospitality sector and its capacity to generate local employment and foreign currency,” Mr. Ekra told the gathering.
It would also help in boosting economic development through the creation of a business-enabling environment in the country, he said, noting that demand for hotel services was projected to increase in Cote d’Ivoire, with rise in demand and in pricing resulting from economic growth, fuelled by the peace agreements, new oil discoveries, and greater attention being paid to the country internationally as it emerged from conflict.
The hotel is being developed with a Euro 29 million Construction and Tourism-Linked Relay Facility (CONTOUR) which Afreximbank approved for Ste KOIRA Hotel Investment, Cote d’Ivoire, a group of African entrepreneurs with interests in the hospitality sector in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and other African countries.
Afreximbank, in line with the terms of the CONTOUR programme, provided the African construction financiers involved in the project with a standby letter of credit in order to provide them comfort that they will be paid for the construction of the hotel.
Other participants in the facility are the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and BGFI Bank Cote d’Ivoire, which came in as co-financiers.
The hotel, which is located close to the Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, will be run by Radisson Blu, a world-renowned hotel operator, under a hotel management agreement.
Accompanying the President on the visit were Denys Denya, the Bank’s Executive Vice President for Finance, Administration and Banking Services; Kanayo Awani, Director of the Trade Finance and Branches Department; several other staff members of the Bank; and a number of members of the Bank’s Board of Directors.