DiscoverAfrica Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) Podcast
Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) Podcast
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Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) Podcast

Author: Bench Events

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The official podcast of AHIF, which is attended by the highest calibre international hotel investors of any conference in Africa. It is the only annual hotel investment conference that connects business leaders from the international and local markets, driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across Africa.
76 Episodes
Listen to Dan & Bernadine as they deep dive into explaining the features and relevance of the 'Tourism Readiness Report' published by WTTC & JLL. The report asseses what makes a city ready for sustainable Travel & Tourism growth. Find out how the report can serve as a useful index for the private sector especially investment firms. 
Rishabh Thapar, Director at HVS Middle East and Africa, specializes in hotel realty development in emerging markets. With 15 years of experience across operations, development, pre-opening, and consulting, he has worked in diverse hotel markets in over 30 countries. He has undertaken individual and portfolio valuations, operator searches and management contract negotiations, market studies, strategic and transaction advisory for some of the leading hotel companies. Listen to Rishab in this insightful podcast as he talks about the emerging trends of conservation & climate awareness in the African hospitality sector. Hie gives an indepth analysis on how hotel chains have hotel chains have shifted their focus in favor of engaging the local community. He also highlights key leisure investment opportunities in East & South Africa.
CG Corp is a multinational conglomerate with  150+ hotels in 12 different countries. The group has a strong presence in East Africa and is constanly looking to expand into other parts of the contient.  Listen to Rahul Chaudhary, Managing Director & CEO of CG Corp Global as he discusses his strategy for Africa and outlines the four key pre-requisites that must be present in any country while looking to invest. Rahul also outlines the challenges that need to be addressed in facilitatiing international investment in Africa. 
The annual W Hospitality Pipeline Report covers the 54 countries in Africa, comprising North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands and provides consistent, reliable and comparable data on the development pipeline activity of the hotel chains who are operating in Africa, and those who are seeking to enter the continent for the first time. Listen to Trevor Ward, Managing Director of W Hospitality Group as he talks in length about the report findings and gives insights on the developments in the hospitality sector in Africa. 
The Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) podcast met up with Billy Cheung, Chairman of Century Park Hotel & Residencies – a new development in the heart of Kigali, Rwanda.  We talked about how he discovered the potential of both the African market and the opportunity to diversify his traditional business into the hospitality sector.  Billy gave AHIF more details of the project and details of his needs going forward.   
Announcing that the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) is, after a two year break with COVID, planning on bringing the investment community back to Sub-Saharan Africa Matthew Weihs, Managing Director or the Bench, spoke to Ramsay Rankoussi Vice President of Africa and Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group. We asked him about the past year which has been a successful one for the operator and what his expectations of the market in the coming 12 months, what changes to strategy they have had since COVID and where they will be focusing for future development.
In this AHIF podcast we spoke with Mark Willis, CEO of Turkey, India, Middle East and Africa at Accor. Sharing his new year’s resolutions with us we also took the time to look back at 2021 and the learnings taken from this turbulent period as well as exploring where he sees opportunities in the MEA region.
In this podcast we spoke to Fabio Nava VP of Capital Markets at JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group to understand the findings from the Annual Spotlight on Africa report they’ve recently published.  We explored how the pandemic has impacted the market and discussed the future opportunities for investment. 
We spoke with Imad Barrakad, CEO of the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT) about their thoughts on hosting the AHIF Marketspace digital event – with its focus on Morocco on 25 March 2021.  We asked Imad what the role of SMIT is, what the investment climate is currently and how now, in the backdrop of covid, what the investment opportunities are in Morocco.  You can register to attend the Marketspace for free at
On the eve of our first digital “in focus” event for the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) community, the Morocco Marketspace taking place on 25th March, I took the chance to speak to the Her Honourable Excellency Nadia Fettah Alaoui the Minister of Tourism, Handicraft, Air Transport and Social Economy about the tourism plans for the Kingdom.  We discussed where the travel situation is now, the support the Government have given the industry and the future incentives for investment and where, in her opinion, the potential opportunities are. 
In this podcast focused on #myAfrica we spoke to Yemisi Mokuolu CEO of Hatch Ideas and founder of the Asa Baako music festival in Ghana.  We explored what Africa meant to her through her work and the founding of this growing music festival. We discussed how this particular venture has developed into an event that is regenerating the local community through travel and tourism and how, now, the need has developed into the potential of investing in hotels for the area.   
In this podcast, we discussed with Hala Matar Choufany the President ME/Africa and South Asia for HVS the results of their recent survey on the Africa Traveller & Hotel Guest Sentiments. We discussed the main findings of the survey and how this will impact travel activity going forward for Africa.
In this AHIF podcast, we thought we’d turn the tables and ask the questions to Mary Gostelow, Owner and Editor of the Gostelow report, columnist and Editor of  A fascinating discussion on her life and times and how she ended up the sage of the industry, how she approaches her work, and is able to extract such amazing insights. 
In this podcast we spoke with Trevor Ward, Managing Director of W Hospitality Group, about recent publishing of the 2020 African Hotel Chain Development Pipeline survey – the 12th annual report. Covid-19 has derailed the market as it has the global hospitality industry but we discussed how Africa was being impacted specifically and what it means for hotel development in the short, medium and long term. With that in mind and with the AfricaTomorrow ( event a month away – what we should be expecting from the online conference where Trevor will be presenting his pipeline report
In this podcast with Frederic van Lennep, we discussed how technology can be leveraged to build confidence in a post coronavirus world for hotels. We also explored what role technology would play, how a touch-less future can be created, and how this reflects the customer experience. Frederic also published a white paper recently on the importance of technology in post-COVID19 hotel operations which can be accessed here:
In this podcast, we discussed Marek's journey from Poland to Africa and how his entrepreneurial spirit led him to Nigeria. We discussed his relationship with travel technology and the potential for the African market especially, post Covid-19, his thoughts on the outcomes for the industry and Africa.  
L’Afrique sera dans quelques années le centre du monde, affirme le magnat des affaires camerounais Mamoudou Fadil tout en renforçant son point de vue sur le potentiel à long terme de la croissance de l’immobilier hôtelier et du développement du tourisme sur le continent lors de son entretien avec Jean Perrochon. Africa will be on the centre stage of the world in a few years, states the Cameroonian business magnate Mamoudou Fadil while reinforcing his views about the long term growth potential for hotel real estate and tourism on the continent in an interview with Jean Perrochon.
This podcast, with Trevor Ward Managing Director of W Hospitality Group, canvassed his opinion on the state of the African hotel market. Looking at the key markets and cities that development is taking place and the trend towards developing mid-scale brands
Un entretien éclairant avec Mohamed Wade (DG du groupe Amandla Capital Real Estate) accordée à Jean Perrochon (Directeur du FIHA), qui suscite des réflexions intéressantes sur les opportunités d'investissement dans une classe d'actifs en immobilier hôtelier en évolution et dans un marché touristique régional qui devrait croître de 6% en glissement annuel au cours de la prochaine décennie.   An eye-opening interview between Mohamed Wade (Managing Director of Amandla Capital Real Estate) and Jean Perrochon (Director of FIHA), that raises some interesting considerations about the investment opportunities in the evolving hotel real estate asset class and in a tourism market that is set to grow at 6% YoY over the next decade.
In this podcast, we discuss with Hala Matar Choufany about her current scope of work in the Middle East, focused on driving value for owners. We also discussed the importance, and growing attention from the investment community on making sustainability work.  Finally – we looked at the difference in the type of work from the Middle East to Africa. 
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