Africa Hotel Investment Forum

23-25 September 2019 – Sheraton Addis, Ethiopia


23-25 September 2019 – Sheraton Addis, Ethiopia


At-a-glance →

09:00 - 11:30

Kenya Tourism Festival: Opening Address*

At the Kenyatta International Convention Centre

12:00 - 13:00


Registration and Networking Lunch at the Radisson Blu


Welcome back

Matthew Weihs
Managing Director, Bench Events

13:00 - 13:30

Tourism Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to see solid growth in its tourism key performance indicators, with inbound arrivals predicted to see solid increases. Many countries in the region are tapping into various sectors and hoping to develop them further, to boost tourism earnings. This presentation will highlight some of the key trends that are contributing to the growth of travel and tourism in the region.

David Nyamasvisva
Senior Business Development Executive, Euromonitor

13:30 - 14:00


One-on-one Interview with Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton & Chairman, WTTC

Hear about Hilton’s growth on the continent and how it is differentiating itself through its’ innovation story around the world. How does Africa fit into the company’s global strategy? How is Hilton supporting the wider tourism and travel sectors?

Nick van Marken
Managing Director, van Marken Limited

In conversation with:

Christopher J. Nassetta
President & CEO, Hilton and Chairman, WTTC

14:00 - 14:45

The AHIF Annual Pipeline Report

Presentation by:

Trevor Ward
Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Followed by a discussion with the region’s leading operators:

Karim Cheltout
Regional Vice President - Development, Africa, Marriott International

Mike Collini
Vice President Development Sub-Saharan Africa, Hilton

Alexis Janoray
Vice President, Head of Development Africa, Accor

Andrew McLachlan
Senior Vice President, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Radisson Hotel Group

14:45 - 15:30


A conversation on global tourism trends and the growth of tourism investments in Africa. How are technology and innovations transforming the tourism industry?

​Kimberley Leonard
World News Anchor, Sky News

In conversation with:

Hon. Najib Balala, EGH
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife, Government of Kenya

Zurab Pololikashvili
Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

15:30 - 17:30

Round Table Sessions

Join us for round table ‘brainstorming sessions’ with your fellow attendees. These sessions allow you to meet and share ideas; a great ice-breaker and an excellent way to gain industry knowledge. Network, demonstrate your expertise to potential partners and gain insight from industry leaders in an intimate setting. Each table will be hosted by two or more industry experts who will lead the discussion. During the session you will move tables once to discuss industry issues from the following round tables

15:30 - 16:30

Round Tables IV

Conversions and Renovations: Steps and Pitfalls

What are the opportunities for conversions in the African market? What does the process entail?

Hassan Ahmed-Jushuf
Owner, Doubletree Nairobi

Boela du Plooy
Senior Director Lodging Development Africa, Marriott International

Samantha Muna
Director of Development East Africa, Hilton

Project Delivery: Best Practices

From conception to opening: what you need to know about positioning, people, facilities, design, process, marketing, and other key areas. 

Zahra Jivraj
Director, Opulent Hotel Group

Roz Money
Vice President Marketing & PR, Aleph Hospitality

James Stuart
Founder, Stuart + Partners

From Signing to Opening: Putting Together the Right Team

The importance of finding and choosing the right partners before kicking off a project; understanding what and who is needed to get a hotel up and running and mitigate delays on a hotel development.

Panos Loupasis
Vice President Development – Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Christopher Lund
Head of Hotels - MENA Region, Colliers International

Shamil Manek
Executive Director, The Merwest Company

16:30 - 17:30

Round Tables V

Regional Focus – How to invest in:

Practical discussions on the intricacies of investing in various African markets. What nuances do these regions have? What country-specific regulations do investors need to be aware of? What is hotel performance and pipeline looking like in these markets?

East Africa

Mark Dunford
Head - East Africa, JLL

Abraham Muthogo Kamau
Managing Director and Director, Business Origination, Miradi Capital

Shamil Manek
Executive Director, The Merwest Company

West Africa

Erwan Garnier
Senior Director, Development - French & Portuguese Speaking Africa, Radisson Hotel Group

Alain Sebah
CEO, Golden Tulip Afrique Francophone & East Africa

Jarrett Swersky
Manager Lodging Development - Middle East Africa, Marriott International

Southern Africa

Michael Devereux
Senior Director Development Sub-Saharan Africa & Indian Ocean, Hilton

Talya French
Manager of Development - Middle East and Africa, Marriott International

Simone Kuhn
Manager, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Radisson Hotel Group

North Africa

Réda Faceh
VP Development Northern & Western Africa, AccorHotels

Thuku Kimani
Consultant – Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

18:30 - 21:00


Networking Reception and Charity Auction at Fairmont The Norfolk

Buses will be leaving the Radisson Blu at 17:45.


The Bench Events Charity Auction

In support of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Bench Events is extremely proud to support The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) as our designated charity for AHIF. The DSWT works to put an end to poaching, preserve endangered habitats, rescue and care for injured animals so that they can return to the wild.

Join us for an exclusive Auction during the evening reception to contribute to this amazing cause, by bidding for two very unique Elephant Adoption packages and four other exclusive vouchers. All funds raised through winning bids will be donated to the charity to support their work in the rescue of orphaned elephants and the protection of their wild kin.

Learn more

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Auction prizes sponsored by: