Moroccan innovator wins IPA 2015 US$100 000 grand prize!

SKHIRAT, Morocco, May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In a glittering ceremony hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (http://www.africaninnovation.org) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy in Skhirat, Morocco, researcher Adnane Remmal was announced winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015 Grand Prize (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org), scooping the US$100 000 cash prize. This was a fitting tribute to an extensive research process, providing African farmers with a solution to improve livestock production whilst taking into account consumer health needs.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/african-innovation-foundation-aif.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1990 (Adnane Remmal (right) IPA 2015 winner, with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy officials and AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais (centre)

Alex Mwaura Muriu of Kenya won Second Prize, and South African, Lesley Erica Scott was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact, receiving US$25 000 respectively.

A jubilant Remmal impressed the expert panel of judges, competing with 10 excellent African innovations spanning the health, environment, technology and agricultural sectors. His innovation, a patented alternative to livestock anti-biotics is set to transform the broader medical and agricultural sector in Africa. The natural innovative anti-microbial formula reduces health hazards in livestock, preventing the transmission of multi-resistant germs and carcinogens to human beings through consumption of milk, eggs and meat. Says Remmal: “My innovation provides farmers with solutions to improve their production; it is cost effective and can be easily adopted, giving farmers increased benefits without the side effects of anti-biotics.”

Murui, a Kenyan entrepreneur, developed a system to meet the perennial challenge faced by African farmers in accessing capital to finance planting and harvesting by providing an alternative from the burden of financial loans through his Farm Capital Africa project.

Today, TB is second only to HIV and AIDS as a leading cause of death in the continent. Using the Smartspot TBCheck, Scott, a South African scientist, has developed an effective World Health Organization (WHO) approved calibration method for TB diagnostic machines.

Innovation is a national priority in Morocco, one of the countries leading the innovation frontier in Africa – a strategic location for IPA 2015, and well known for hosting other successful events such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. In his welcome remarks, Moroccan Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and the Digital Economy, Mr Moulay Hafid Elalamy emphasized: “Innovation and development, as well as technological innovations must be leveraged for the continent, given that these are major value creations and key ingredients for competitiveness”.

Since its inaugural launch in 2011, IPA has attracted some 3000 applications from 49 African countries. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founder and the brainchild of the Prize, now in its fourth edition, is pleased with the level of innovations this year – a total of 925 applications from 41 countries. Commenting on the role of IPA in fostering innovation in Africa, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais said:

“I am truly impressed with this year’s winning innovations, which have once again surpassed expectations. At the same time, I am aware that the buck cannot stop here. Let us put it this way; no matter how high a bird flies, it always needs a nest, a base to come back to. African innovators are taking flight, their innovative ideas are increasingly proving to be transformative – not only for Africa – but for the world. Through the IPA, the AIF is fostering the development of robust innovation ecosystems, which are essentially nests for African entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solutions for African challenges”.

African innovators continue to provide more innovative African solutions to address African problems. This year’s winners have a common theme: their innovations highlight the vital and crucial need to respond directly to demanding community needs – the heart of the AIF mandate. The innovations further demonstrate great potential to change the course of history in Africans’ responses to health, technology, enterprise and the agricultural sector, prioritizing needs-based responses through cost effective means – a critical tool for sustainable development.

The IPA 2015 Awards ceremony was attended by more than 400 people that included high level African dignitaries, ministers, ambassadors, AIF partners, past IPA winners, venture capitalists, innovators, entrepreneurs, local and international media, and young people. The AIF believes that young people (below age 35) are the epi-center of the African innovation ecosystem as they represent 65% of Africa’s 1.1 billion population.

For the first time this year, all nominees received recognition through a US$5 000 voucher as a support fund to boost their different innovations in their home countries.

The IPA 2015 Awards ceremony was compered by Lerato Mbele of BBC Africa Business Report fame. Youssour N’Dour, the Senegalese musical legend provided first class entertainment, backed by Bob Maghrib, a Moroccan ensemble, with popular Bob Marley renditions.

IPA associated events prior to the Awards ceremony included a Press Conference, an Innovation Marketplace showcasing Moroccan home-grown talents, and an Ideas Machine workshop focusing on unleashing innovation talent in young Africans.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

For more information on IPA 2015:

For the African Innovation Foundation

Aulora Stally

Communications Manager

Strehlgasse 4

8001 Zurich, Switzerland

aulora.stally@africaninnovation.org

Phone: +41 79 834 9163

For the Ministry of Industry

Trade, Investment and Digital Economy

Taoufiq Moucharraf

Communications Director

moucharraf@mcinet.gov.ma

Phone: +212 661 522 801

Find us on:

The Internet: www.africaninnovation.org ; Innovation Prize for Africa (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InnovationPrizeforAfrica

https://www.facebook.com/AfricanInnovationFoundation

Twitter: @AfrinnovFdn; @IPAPrize

Africa Innovation Foundation (AIF) (http://www.africaninnovation.org) works to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa.

Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org) is a landmark initiative of the AIF and mobilizes African innovators to invest in African-led solutions to ensure a sustainable, prosperous Africa. Details on IPA 2015 events can be found on http://event.innovationprizeforafrica.org/

Source:: Moroccan innovator wins IPA 2015 US$100 000 grand prize!

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World Bank Managing Director Concludes Visit to DRC, Commends Efforts to Stabilize Macroeconomic Environment

KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — World Bank Group Managing Director Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Tuesday concluded her visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (http://www.minfinrdc.com), where she met with President Joseph Kabila Kabange, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo and key members of the Congolese Government to discuss long-term development prospects for the region, and to review progress made as part of the Great Lakes Regional Initiative.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/drcfin.png

During meetings held May 10-12, Dr. Indrawati commended DRC officials for their efforts to stabilize the macroeconomic environment. Encouraged by this progress, Dr. Indrawati said that the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, are ready to provide expertise to develop important sectors including the DRC’s agro-industrial parks, as Prime Minister Matata Ponyo explained the government’s proposal to expand the number of sites in the country from 22 to 26. She noted that such investments will help reduce threshold costs that otherwise might deter the engagement of private sector investors. Dr. Indrawati also recommended that the DRC devote more resources to the development of human capital, especially in the health and education sectors.

“There is tremendous potential for this country to grow,” said Dr. Indrawati. “The agro-industrial park project represents an even greater potential because it addresses another sector, agriculture, upon which the vast majority of the population depends.”

“I’m greatly encouraged by the productive conversations we have held with Dr. Indrawati over the last few days. It is clear that both the World Bank Group and the DRC are committed to expanding our efforts to bring positive reform and structural change that will enhance the lives of the Congolese people, and create an attractive investment environment for international partners,” said DRC Minister of Finance Henri Yav Mulang. “I look forward to continuing our productive relationship, and thank her for the support she has shown for the people of the Congo.”

At stops in Kinshasa and Goma, Dr. Indrawati noted how certain initiatives like the reform of state-owned enterprises will help increase economic activities, create wealth and reduce poverty. In this regard, she explained that where there is prosperity, there are fewer opportunities for the emergence of armed groups or armed conflicts.

The visit by Dr. Indrawati further deepens the partnership between The World Bank Group and the DRC, as the World Bank Group’s existing portfolio in the country includes 25 current projects amounting to US$3.5 billion, including two regional projects totaling US$1.14 billion. Projects supported range from improvements to infrastructure, public finance management, public enterprise reform, improvements to health and education infrastructure, national parks and forest management, agriculture and more.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

For more information, please contact:

inquiries@drcnotes.com

Source:: World Bank Managing Director Concludes Visit to DRC, Commends Efforts to Stabilize Macroeconomic Environment

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CORRECTION: Good revenue growth but the impact of revised visa regulations on SA’s hospitality and tourism industry remains to be seen

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — South Africa’s hospitality industry is prepared to grow further in the next five years, with most growth in the sector expected to be generated in Cape Town, according to a report released by PwC today.

Download the report ‘Hospitality Outlook 2015′: http://www.apo-mail.org/150514pwc.pdf

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1985 (Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC, Southern Africa)

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/pwc.png

Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC, Southern Africa (http://www.pwc.com), says: “Although South Africa’s economy has weakened, the hotel industry in 2014 has benefited from an increase in foreign visitors and rising room rates.”

PwC’s 5th edition of the ‘Hospitality Outlook: 2015 – 2019′ projects that by the year 2019 the overall occupancy rate across all sectors in South Africa will continue to increase, rising to an estimated 58.3% from 54.4% in 2014. “The hotel occupancy rate reached its highest level in 2014 of 59% since 2008. The hotel occupancy rate is expected to increase to 62% by 2019 but still remain lower than the 68.4% achieved in 2008,” adds Forster. Five star hotels are expected to achieve a high of 80% occupancy in 2019.

However, one of the most significant recent developments in 2014 and 2015 in the South African tourism industry was the revision of the country’s visa regulations. “Under the revised regulations tourists to South Africa will have to apply in person for visas to visit South Africa so that biometric data can be reliably collected. In addition, parents and guardians travelling with minors must have an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents,” adds Forster.

“Although the new regulations are intended to protect South Africa they could have unforeseen consequences for the tourism and hospitality industries,” cautions Foster. “Furthermore, the regulations may be onerous for tourists to comply with. It still remains to be seen as to how they will affect the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Worldwide, governments are focusing on efforts to relax visa requirements to promote tourism. Tourism industry commentators in South Africa say the regulations have already adversely affected travel from China and India.

PwC’s report features information about hotel accommodation in Nigeria, Mauritius and Kenya. The accommodation sector in South Africa consists of hotels, guest houses and guest farms, game lodges, caravan sites, camping sites and other overnight accommodation.

“The accommodation market in South Africa enjoyed its third consecutive year of strong growth with a 9.1% advance following two years of double-digit gains. We expect total room revenue in South Africa to expand at an 8% compound annual rate overall and by 8.1% compounded annually for hotels,” says Forster.

Growth in room rates will be the main driver of revenue, with new hotels in Cape Town leading the expansion.

Hotel accommodation

In 2014 overall spending on rooms in South Africa rose 9.1% to R18.9 billion, with rising room rates being the principal driver. Hotel room rates rose 7% just above inflation with five-star hotels achieving the fastest growth at 12.8%. With the market now improving, there is renewed activity in the hotel industry as major hotel chains upgrade current facilities, renovate their properties or make plans to expand and open new hotels. The report estimates that by 2019 there will be about 63 600 hotel rooms available up from 60 800 in 2014.

Elsewhere, the hotel markets in Nigeria and Kenya were both adversely affected by terrorist activity in 2014 and Nigeria was also hurt by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Because of its strong economy, the hotel industry in Nigeria has attracted significant investment and the number of hotel rooms in Nigeria is expected to more than double during the next five years with much of the growth taking place in Lagos. The number of available hotel rooms in Mauritius, a resort destination, is also expected to increase at a 2.8% compound annual rate.

Outlook: South Africa 2015 – 2019

Overall room availability in South Africa is expected to increase at modest rates for each category with guest houses projected to be the fastest-growing category averaging 1.0% compounded annually. Overall room availability is projected to increase at a 0.7% compound annual rate to 120,300 in 2019 from 115,900 in 2014.

The overall occupancy rate rose to 54.4% in 2014 with each category increasing. Guest houses/guest farms had the highest occupancy rate at 62.9%. The overall occupancy rate is forecast to climb to 58.3% in 2019.

Total room revenue is forecast to reach R27.7 billion in 2019, an 8% compound annual increase from 2014.

Stay unit nights rose 3.6% in 2014 with most of the growth generated by a 10% increase in caravan/camping sites and other accommodation. “We expect stay unit nights to rebound in 2015, helped by an improving global economy and pick-up in economic growth. Growth, however, may be hampered by the recent imposition in 2014 of the new requirements needed to obtain a visa and in 2015 related to travelling with minors,” adds Forster.

“Consequently we project stay unit nights to grow more slowly over the forecast period compared with increases during the 2010-13 period.”

It is also expected that the market can sustain mid-single-digit price rate increases in room rates without adversely affecting stay unit nights. The average room will cost R1 083 in 2019 from R820 in 2014.

Outlook: Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya 2015 – 2019

The Nigerian hotel market was hit by health concerns in 2014 in the wake of the Ebola virus and concerns around terrorism. Room revenue declined by 2.0% and the three – and four –star hotel market took a knock as revenue fell 7.7%. For the forecast period as a whole, stay unit nights are projected to increase at a 6.6% compound annual rate to 2.2 million in 2019 from 1.6 million in 2014. Occupancy rates fell in 2014 for the first time to 49.8% and as development continues are expected to fall further to under 3.0% The number of tourist arrivals to Mauritius increased 4.6% in 2014, exceeding the one million level for the first time. Faced with competition from The Maldives, Sri Lanka and The Seychelles, hotels have been reluctant to raise room rates in recent years.

Kenya’s hotel market declined during each of the past three years, with total revenue falling 7.1% and by a cumulative 16% since 2011. Despite continuing concerns around terrorism a number of new hotels are scheduled to enter the market. Stay unit nights are also anticipated to decline by an additional 2.8% in 2015 with occupancies just above 50%.

Looking ahead

Forster concludes: “The South African hotel market faces a number of challenges, but we are very optimistic in its ability to compete, adapt and succeed, especially as the global economy continues to improve following the recent economic uncertainty.

“Growth in travel and tourism is also expected to boost growth in the accommodation industry across the African continent during the next five years.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Contacts:

Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC: Southern Africa

Office: + 27 11 797 5362

Email: nikki.forster@za.pwc.com

OR

Jocelyn Newmarch: Account Manager: Edelman, South Africa

Office: + 27 11 504 4000

Mobile: + 27 84 462 1111

Email: Jocelyn.Newmarch@edelman.com

OR

Sanchia Temkin: Head of Media Relations, PwC

Office: + 27 11 797 4470

Email: sanchia.temkin@za.pwc.com

About PwC:

PwC (http://www.pwc.com) helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

Source:: CORRECTION: Good revenue growth but the impact of revised visa regulations on SA’s hospitality and tourism industry remains to be seen

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Louis Berger supports modernization of major road in Guinea, recognized as strategic infrastructure partner

CONAKRY, Guinea, May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) recently kicked off a 1.3 million euro ($1.4 million USD) construction supervision project to rehabilitate 151 kilometers (93 miles) of National Road 1 (RN1) between Dabola and Kouroussa in central Guinea. RN1 is a major thoroughfare across the country and could extend to southeastern Mali in the future.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/louis-berger.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1988

“This contract is the result of our commitment to building a strong partnership with the Guinean Ministry of Public Works, which reflects our more than 25 years of experience in the country,” said Pascal Houdeau, deputy general manager of operations for West and East Africa. “That commitment and experience in Guinea are behind our decision to maintain a presence in the country and continue work during the worst of the Ebola outbreak.”

Financed by the National Development Budget, the project includes site clearance, earthwork, drainage and paving. RN1 rehabilitation is part of a national road network modernization program. The government aims to boost national and international commerce by connecting strategic transport axes and developing the country’s transportation infrastructure.

In recognition of Louis Berger’s experience in country, Alpha Condé, Guinea’s president, recently named the firm “a strategic partner” for its contribution to the development and modernization of the national road infrastructure.

Louis Berger has more than 50 years of experience in Africa and more than 25 years of experience in Guinea, where the firm has implemented over 40 projects. These projects cover a broad range of professional services in transport, mining, agriculture and economic and institutional development.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Louis Berger.

Contact:

Regine de la Cruz

rdelacruz@louisberger.com

+1.202.303.2791

About Louis Berger

Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners.

Source:: Louis Berger supports modernization of major road in Guinea, recognized as strategic infrastructure partner

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African business leaders to focus on scientific progress in partnership with the World Bank

LONDON, United-Kingdom, May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• First meeting of the ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ held last month

• Joint initiative of the World Bank and the Planet Earth Institute

• High level meeting of African Heads of State and the African Business Champions is now being planned

Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the prominent African businessman and Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute NGO (http://www.planetearthinstitute.org.uk), led the first meeting of the ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ last month in London.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/planet-earth.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1986 (Dr Álvaro Sobrinho announces the Africa Business Champions for Science in Dakar, Senegal, on the invitation of His Excellency President Macky Sall)

The Africa Business Champions for Science is a new group of influential figures from industry with a passion for science, technology and innovation on the continent. Alongside Dr Álvaro Sobrinho of Angola, Lionel Zinsou of Benin (CEO and Chairman of PAI Partners) and Justin Chinyanta of Zambia (CEO and Chairman of Loita Capital Partners), have both been appointed members.

The Africa Business Champions for Science group was formally outlined in a Call to Action at the ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ Regional Forum in 2014, in Dakar, Senegal. The World Bank is facilitating the PASET initiative, which seeks to help meet Africa’s skills needs in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET) fields for the socio-economic transformation of Africa. PASET serves as the platform for public-private partnerships; engaging in related advocacy, analytical and technical streams of work; and supporting African governments to mobilize funding to support country and regional level ASET initiatives.

The Africa Business Champions for Science group will work alongside African governments, the PASET Steering Committee (comprising of three African Ministers from the Education sector – Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal and the World Bank); and a high-level Consultative Advisory Group (comprising of scientists and academics).

A high level meeting of African Heads of State and the African Business Champions is now being planned, at which further members and commitments will be announced.

Mr Makhtar Diop, Vice-President for Africa of the World Bank.

“The African continent has experienced very strong growth over the past decade and it has been noted that this growth has really repositioned the African continent and changed the perception of the African continent. However while doing so, we have not had the transformation we would like to have; we have not had a structural transformation of African economies.

To address this we need a combined effort of all sectors, and the role of industry is absolutely crucial. This new group of prominent African entrepreneurs and business figures can play an important role in putting the continent back on a path of sustainable growth, of inclusive growth, and a path toward transformation of the structure of our economies.”

Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman, Planet Earth Institute

“For too long business and scientific communities have operated in isolation in Africa. As we seek to move from economies based on resource to those based on knowledge, this disconnect has to be addressed head on.

I’m delighted to be working with a group of inspirational business figures and in tandem with international and national organisations at the heart of this debate, to play our part in making sure Africa’s scientific progress delivers for the whole continent. And I call to others interested in the initiative to work with us”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Planet Earth Institute (PEI).

For further information please contact:

james@planetearthinstitute.org.uk / +44 (0) 20 7409 2947

Notes to Eds

• The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) is an international NGO and charity working for the ‘scientific independence of Africa': www.planetearthinstitute.org.uk

• Dr Álvaro Sobrinho is an Angolan banker, investor and philanthropist: www.alvaro-sobrinho.com

• In 2014, the World Bank and the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) signed an agreement to co-ordinate a new group of ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC

Source:: African business leaders to focus on scientific progress in partnership with the World Bank

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Good revenue growth but the impact of revised visa regulations on SA’s hospitality and tourism industry remains to be seen – PwC ‘Hospitality Outlook 2015′

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — South Africa’s hospitality industry is prepared to grow further in the next five years, with most growth in the sector expected to be generated in Cape Town, according to a report released by PwC today.

Download the report ‘Hospitality Outlook 2015′: http://www.apo-mail.org/150514pwc.pdf

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1985 (Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC, Southern Africa)

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/pwc.png

Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC, Southern Africa (http://www.pwc.com), says: “Although South Africa’s economy has weakened, the hotel industry in 2014 has benefited from an increase in foreign visitors and rising room rates.”

PwC’s 5th edition of the ‘Hospitality Outlook: 2015 – 2019′ projects that by the year 2019 the overall occupancy rate across all sectors in South Africa will continue to increase, rising to an estimated 58.3% from 54.4% in 2014. “The hotel occupancy rate reached its highest level in 2014 of 52.6% since 2008. The hotel occupancy rate is expected to increase to 62% by 2019 but still remain lower than the 68.4% achieved in 2008,” adds Forster. Five star hotels are expected to achieve a high of 80% occupancy in 2019.

However, one of the most significant recent developments in 2014 and 2015 in the South African tourism industry was the revision of the country’s visa regulations. “Under the revised regulations tourists to South Africa will have to apply in person for visas to visit South Africa so that biometric data can be reliably collected. In addition, parents and guardians travelling with minors must have an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents,” adds Forster.

“Although the new regulations are intended to protect South Africa they could have unforeseen consequences for the tourism and hospitality industries,” cautions Foster. “Furthermore, the regulations may be onerous for tourists to comply with. It still remains to be seen as to how they will affect the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Worldwide, governments are focusing on efforts to relax visa requirements to promote tourism. Tourism industry commentators in South Africa say the regulations have already adversely affected travel from China and India.

PwC’s report features information about hotel accommodation in Nigeria, Mauritius and Kenya. The accommodation sector in South Africa consists of hotels, guest houses and guest farms, game lodges, caravan sites, camping sites and other overnight accommodation.

“The accommodation market in South Africa enjoyed its third consecutive year of strong growth with a 9.1% advance following two years of double-digit gains. We expect total room revenue in South Africa to expand at an 8% compound annual rate overall and by 8.1% compounded annually for hotels,” says Forster.

Growth in room rates will be the main driver of revenue, with new hotels in Cape Town leading the expansion.

Hotel accommodation

In 2014 overall spending on rooms in South Africa rose 5.4% to R18.9 billion, with rising room rates being the principal driver. Hotel occupancy rates rose 7% just above inflation with five-star hotels achieving the fastest growth at 12.8%. With the market now improving, there is renewed activity in the hotel industry as major hotel chains upgrade current facilities, renovate their properties or make plans to expand and open new hotels. The report estimates that by 2019 there will be about 63 000 hotel rooms available up from 60 800 in 2014.

Elsewhere, the hotel markets in Nigeria and Kenya were both adversely affected by terrorist activity in 2014 and Nigeria was also hurt by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Because of its strong economy, the hotel industry in Nigeria has attracted significant investment and the number of hotel rooms in Nigeria is expected to more than double during the next five years with much of the growth taking place in Lagos. The number of available hotel rooms in Mauritius, a resort destination, is also expected to increase at a 2.8% compound annual rate.

Outlook: South Africa 2015 – 2019

Overall room availability in South Africa is expected to increase at modest rates for each category with guest houses projected to be the fastest-growing category averaging 1.0% compounded annually. Overall room availability is projected to increase at a 0.7% compound annual rate to 120,300 in 2019 from 115,900 in 2014.

The overall occupancy rate rose 54.4% in 2014 with each category increasing. Guest houses/guest farms had the highest occupancy rate at 62.9%. The overall occupancy rate is forecast to climb to 58.3% in 2019.

Total room revenue is forecast to reach R27.7 billion in 2019, an 8% compound annual increase from 2014.

Stay unit nights rose 3.6% in 2014 with most of the growth generated by a 10% increase in caravan/camping sites and other accommodation. “We expect stay unit nights to rebound in 2015, helped by an improving global economy and pick-up in economic growth. Growth, however, may be hampered by the recent imposition in 2014 of the new requirements needed to obtain a visa and in 2015 related to travelling with minors,” adds Forster.

“Consequently we project stay unit nights to grow more slowly over the forecast period compared with increases during the 2010-13 period.”

It is also expected that the market can sustain mid-single-digit price rate increases in room rates without adversely affecting stay unit nights. The average room will cost R1 083 in 2019 from R820 in 2014.

Outlook: Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya 2015 – 2019

The Nigerian hotel market was hit by health concerns in 2014 in the wake of the Ebola virus and concerns around terrorism. Room revenue declined by 20% and the three – and four –star hotel market took a knock as revenue fell 7.7%. For the forecast period as a whole, stay unit nights are projected to increase at a 6.6% compound annual rate to 2.2 million in 2019 from 1.6 million in 2014. Occupancy rates fell in 2014 for the first time to 49.8% and as development continues are expected to fall further to under 30% The number of tourist arrivals to Mauritius increased 4.6% in 2014, exceeding the one million level for the first time. Faced with competition from The Maldives, Sri Lanka and The Seychelles, hotels have been reluctant to raise room rates in recent years.

Kenya’s hotel market declined during each of the past three years, with total revenue falling 7.1% and by a cumulative 16% since 2011. Despite continuing concerns around terrorism a number of new hotels are scheduled to enter the market. Stay unit nights are also anticipated to decline by an additional 2.8% in 2015 with occupancies just above 50%.

Looking ahead

Forster concludes: “The South African hotel market faces a number of challenges, but we are very optimistic in its ability to compete, adapt and succeed, especially as the global economy continues to improve following the recent economic uncertainty.

“Growth in travel and tourism is also expected to boost growth in the accommodation industry across the African continent during the next five years.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Contacts:

Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC: Southern Africa

Office: + 27 11 797 5362

Email: nikki.forster@za.pwc.com

OR

Jocelyn Newmarch: Account Manager: Edelman, South Africa

Office: + 27 11 504 4000

Mobile: + 27 84 462 1111

Email: Jocelyn.Newmarch@edelman.com

OR

Sanchia Temkin: Head of Media Relations, PwC

Office: + 27 11 797 4470

Email: sanchia.temkin@za.pwc.com

About PwC:

PwC (http://www.pwc.com) helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

Source:: Good revenue growth but the impact of revised visa regulations on SA’s hospitality and tourism industry remains to be seen – PwC ‘Hospitality Outlook 2015′

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment