Hotel investment conference Africa reveals speaker line-up

Mmatšatši Ramawela
Mmatšatši Ramawela

A number of top hoteliers from sub-Saharan Africa and business leaders in the field of hotel development, investment and tourism are billed to speak at the eighth annual Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA).

The conference will be held from 14-16 September 2014, at the Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa and is hosted by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) in partnership with the Gauteng Tourism Authority.

HICA is a leading advocate in the promotion of education and dialogue on investment and developmental issues within the hotel, resort, mixed-use, real-estate and tourism industries across the sub-Saharan Africa region.  The conference brings together local, regional and international captains of industry for two-and-a-half days of frank engagement, deal-making and networking.

“HICA is renowned for its relevant programme and high-calibre of speakers.  Each year, we endeavour to raise the bar even higher.  Looking at how our speaker line-up is shaping up, we are confident we will achieve this goal,” said Mmatšatši Ramawela, TBCSA chief executive officer.

Leading the speaker line-up is a number of business leaders from the region such as Hubert Danso, chief executive officer and vice-chairman of Africa Investor Media; André Pottas, Deloitte Africa corporate finance advisory leader and the leader of infrastructure and capital projects for Africa; and Joop Demes, chief executive officer of Pam Golding Hospitality.

The speaker line-up also includes hoteliers such as Mossadek Bally, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Azalaї Hotel Group, which operates in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinée Bissao; and Dr Shingi Munyeza, group chief executive officer of African Sun Hotels, which operates in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria.

On the international front, the programme features, among others, Keith Kefgen, chief executive officer and managing director of Aethos Consulting Group; Dr James Houran, clinical psychologist and recognised expert on “Peak Performance”; Starwood Hotel’s senior vice-president for acquisitions and development; Neil George; and Accor Hotel Group’s senior vice-president and head of development in Africa and the Middle-East, Phillippe Baretaud.

HICA sponsors Best Western Hotels, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and conference partner South African Airways, will also be represented in various slots of the conference programme.

“Over and above the confirmed mix of regional and international speakers confirmed, HICA would not be the same without a discussion on policies to support the growth of tourism and hospitality in the region.  As such, we will soon be announcing the line-up of Ministers from the region who be participating in our Ministerial Panel,” Ms Ramawela said.

Registration is open with the conference programme already available on the HICA website.  Delegates are urged to take advantage of the early-bird registration rates currently on offer.

“We encourage role-players in the hospitality and broader tourism industry within the region – investors, operators, developers, senior executives and public sector officials from the region – to not miss the opportunity to attend the conference,” Ms Ramawela concluded.