From Arnold Mulenga in Lusaka
A loan of US$9 million towards the financing of a
major hotel is set to meet the growing demand for business
infrastructure, create jobs for youth and opportunities for services and
goods providers in Zambia.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank
Group, has announced the loan to Protea Hotels Zambia to build the
facility and a conference centre on the outskirts of the capital Lusaka.
The loan is out of a total project cost of $30 million.
The Protea Hotel will provide 249 rooms and a multi-purpose event venue
for up to 2 500 people. It is expected to employ 300 people and source
many goods and services from Zambian businesses.
Mark O'Donnell, chairman of Union Gold, said the Zambian tourism market
had grown since investments in the Protea Hotels franchise.
Protea Hotels is a subsidiary of Union Gold.
“The journey was not easy but our desire to support local businesses
through investing in accommodation was the driving force behind our
success. With IFC support, we can offer Zambians and tourists alike good
hotel accommodation and a modern multipurpose event facility,” O'Donnell
The Protea project is part of IFC’s wide-ranging support to Zambia’s
private sector. IFC has invested about $100 million in the country’s
critical sectors like manufacturing, banking, hospitality and
More than one million tourists visited Zambia in 2017, up from 362 000 in
1998. Diversification of the mining dependent economy through tourism is
a key government strategy.
“The hospitality sector can create jobs, generate tax revenues for
governments and bring business to entrepreneurs in emerging economies
like Zambia,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC Southern Africa director.
– CAJ News