Press Release

17 Feb 2016

Togo’s Prime Minister Will Attend AHIF

The Prime Minister of Togo Komi Sélom Klassou, has announced he will be among the VIPs attending the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, being held under the patronage of Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of Togo, in Lomé in April.

Mr Klassou said: “Togo has dynamic plans to develop and expand trade and tourism and we are pleased to welcome this important conference to our country.  I am confident it will provide an excellent platform to discuss the way ahead.”

The Prime Minister will be joined by African government ministers, tourism experts, international hotel investors and leading business executives.

Last month, Ethiopian airlines announced that it will be flying, in partnership with Asky Airlines three times a week from Addis Ababa to New York via Togo’s Lomé airport, further strengthening the country’s international links. Added to this, Lomé’s new airport terminal is set to increase passenger and cargo volumes significantly, and the planned expansion of its sea port will triple its current capacity.

Matthew Weihs, managing director of Bench Events, which organises AHIF, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Prime Minister and other ministers to our conference.  This is an important time for Togo and for the west of Africa as it positions itself to become a strategic investment destination. As business and tourism grows, so too will the demand for hotel capacity.”

He continued: “We have a conference programme packed with influential speakers sharing their insights on highly topical issues. We’re looking forward to some lively and enlightening discussion.”

Industry leaders will highlight developments in the tourism sector and ministers will provide a direct link to the latest government thinking. There will also be numerous opportunities for networking and face-to-face discussion.

The forum will also be the venue for the release of two eagerly-awaited pieces of market intelligence.  First is W Hospitality’s influential Pipeline Report, which will be presented by its author, Trevor Ward, W Hospitality Group’s Managing Director.  It will give a comprehensive update of the planned hotel development across Africa by international chains.

Second, figures presented by Thomas Emanuel, Director of Business Development at STR Global, will provide an unparalleled assessment of hotel room revenues over the past year in several major African markets.

The forum will start with roundtable discussions covering a variety of hot topics including: security, building human capital and how to increase revenue. Among those guiding the discussions will be Alain Sebah, CEO Golden Tulip French Speaking Africa, Louvre Hotels Group and John Addo Kufuor, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Regent Hotel.

After a welcome by Komi Sélom Klassou, Prime Minister of Togo, the full programme will get underway and this includes:

Opportunities and challenges in west Africa
Bernadette Essossimna Legzim-Balouki, Minister of Commerce, Industry, Private sector and Tourism of Togo
Mossadeck Bally, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Azalaï Hotels
Sade Hughes Managing Director, Mixta Hospitality and Retail Limited
Ghaby Kodeih Managing Director, Société d’Hôtellerie, de Restauration et de Loisirs S.A.
Cesse Komé, President, Koira Holding

Regeneration and reinvention
Adji Otèth Ayassor, State Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance of Togo
Ashok Gupta, Managing Director & CEO, Kalyan Hospitality Development Togo SAU
Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer, Rwanda Development Board

Air connectivity in west Africa
Henok Teferra, Chief Executive Officer, ASKY Airlines
Behramjee Ghadially, Senior Network Planning Manager, Arik Air

What do the investors say?
Joram Sengendo, Private Equity Hotel Investments, CDC Group
Alexander Smertnik, Vice President, Hospitality Investments, Quantum Global Alternative Investments AG

Understanding the requirements of development banks
Abdoulaye Fall, Vice-President Operations, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development
Julien Lefilleur, Head of MAS Division, Proparco
Moseketsi Mpeta, Head of Light Manufacturing & Tourism, Industrial Development Corporation
Marieme Travaly, Principal Investment Officer, IFC

Why investors should be focused on the mid-market
Alain Sebah, CEO Golden Tulip French Speaking Africa, Louvre Hotels Group

Togo attracts a variety of visitors keen to explore its beautiful scenery and enjoy its tropical climate. Latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council show that travel and tourism directly accounted for 3.1% of total GDP in 2014 and is forecast to rise by 6% in 2015, and by a further 2.2% each year from 2015 to 2025. On a wider analysis, the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was 6.7% in 2014 and is forecast to rise by 5.4% by the end of 2015.

The AHIF conference will take place on April 5 and 6 at the new landmark Radisson Blu Hotel du 2 Février in the capital.   To see the full AHIF Togo programme, visit: www.africa-conference.com/togo/index.php/programme.

ENDS