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Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 14:42
the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) announced that it had set aside US$253 million (R3bn) for airport development projects in a global drive to lure back airlines.

Fewer than 20 international airlines currently fly into the country, down from the 34 that used the route from 1999 to 2003.

Caaz PR and Communications Manager, Anna Julia Hungwe, said: “US$253 million has been budgeted for upgrading the country’s airports, excluding Victoria Falls which was upgraded at a cost of US$150 million.”

Eight airlines now fly into Victoria Falls: Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and SA Airlink joined British Airways, Air Zimbabwe, South African Airways, Fastjet and Air Namibia. Caaz expects to see similar benefits when it upgrades the country’s other airports.

Last year, the Zimbabwean government secured a US$153 million loan from The Export-Import Bank of China; this will be used to upgrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.

Hungwe said Caaz further planned to upgrade a number of the small airports in the country: Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport, Charles Prince, Masvingo, Hwange, Buffalo Range and Kariba airports. They will fund this using the Public-Private-Partnerships model.

She could not give timelines on when the programme would commence but reiterated that plans were in place and that timelines would be made available in due course.

Source: tam.co.za

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:50
Hotels across the Middle East saw significant performance declines in 2017. At the same time, STR reported that Africa’s hotels achieved significant growth across all key performance metrics.

Occupancy in the overall region dropped 1.1 percent to 65 percent. ADR declined 4.5 percent to $164.33 as RevPAR dropped 5.6 percent to $106.89 in response.

Kuwait, in particular, saw shaky results this past year, as ADR dropped 4.7 percent to KWD62.17 for the third consecutive year. December 2017 was the first month of the year to see year-over-year growth in ADR, which increased 8.3 percent, since July 2016. December was also the fourth month the country saw an increase in ADR since early 2015. Kuwait did see a strong 5.6-percent growth in occupancy to 58.0 percent and a 3.7-percent increase in RevPAR to KWD35.23 last year despite the ADR declines. These performance levels rose mainly in response to the 12.7-percent rise in market demand, which continues to grow following the country’s economic pitfalls from falling oil prices.

Occupancy in the UAE only increased 0.5 percent to 75.1 percent last year—not enough to get ADR and RevPAR rising. ADR came in at AED599.58 after a 3.8-percent decrease while RevPAR dropped 3.3 percent to AED450.04.

STR analysts said that supply growth continues to shift the scales in Dubai’s ADR, especially as the emirate bulks up on new hotel projects ahead of the 2020 World Expo. The market, which the upscale sector has historically dominated, is showing a surge in the midscale hotel sector growth. These new mid-scale additions have driven the rise in market demand, as Dubai’s market continues to accommodate a wider price range of travelers. The emirate is also expanding its range of tourist attractions to stimulate growth in market demand and, in turn, driving hotel demand.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi is following a similar trend at a smaller scale due to its smaller market size. New cultural attractions include the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November 2017, and additional museums along with its new hotel development projects. STR predicts that both rising oil prices and sustained growth in the non-oil sector will drive economic expansion in the emirate this year, allowing the economy to rebound from relatively low performance levels in the past 12 months.

Africa’s hotel market fared better than the Middle East did last year with performance ratings. Occupancy grew 5.6 percent to 58.0 percent as ADR rose 7.4 percent to $104.15 and RevPAR reached $60.43 after a 13.4-percent increase.

STR analysts reported the weakened South African rand helped boost the market’s demand over the past two years. However, supply growth has overshadowed this rise in demand, pushing occupancy levels down slightly last year in a 0.5-percent decline to 64.0 percent. The decline did not affect ADR and RevPAR as rate grew 3.9 percent to SAR1,219.07 and RevPAR grew 3.3 percent to SAR780.21.

Cape Town has seen a significant surge in demand thanks to improved flight accessibility. Additionally, the Cape Town International Convention Centre’s recent expansion has increased corporate demand and drawn market share away from Johannesburg.

STR predicts Cape Town’s increasing popularity in both tourism and corporate demand may steal hotel business from Johannesburg and Sandton.

Source: hotelmanagement.net

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:42
Rwanda, on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 yesterday, showcased its advancements in drone technology.

The forum, underway in Davos, Switzerland, is running under the theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”

The 48th WEF will feature 400 sessions focusing on major economic and geopolitical issues around the world.

The international summit convenes world leaders from political, business, international organisations and civil society backgrounds among others.

On the first day of the forum, Rwanda’s drone technology advancements featured prominently being the first country to adopt performance based drone regulation.

To achieve the feat, the government partnered with the World Economic Forum to co-design policy frameworks that could increase the country’s competitiveness in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Speaking at the forum, Rwanda’s Minster for ICT Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, said that Rwanda is aiming at nurturing the drone industry and put in place infrastructure and policy framework to accelerate its adoption.

“Building on the success of Zipline’s blood delivery technology, we are working to nurture a drone industry. As we look to the future, we will continue to put in place the infrastructure and policy frameworks that accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies to transform people’s lives,” he said.

A performance-based approach allows both regulators and operators to respond to technical challenges, including ensuring the safety of the public.

This opens up the airspace to more operators and applications, thereby spurring business development and social impact.

“The enhancement of our drone regulation framework, developed in consultation with the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is a major step in creating an enabling environment for the development and deployment of drone technology. We are also establishing capacity-building programmes to invest in local talent and leverage public-private partnerships to lay the groundwork for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said the minister.

Murat Sonmez, Head of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said that Rwanda’s leadership in co-designing policy frameworks around drone use could be a model for other countries that want to accelerate adoption of the technology.

“Rwanda is one of the first countries to partner with the Forum in this space. The Government of Rwanda’s leadership in co-designing agile policy frameworks around the use of drones, could be a model for other countries that want to accelerate adoption of this game-changing technology,” he added.

President Paul Kagame is leading Rwanda’s delegation at the forum.

The Rwandan delegation includes ministers Louise Mushikiwabo (Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community affairs), Claver Gatete (Finance), Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa (Information, Technology and Communication) and Dr Vincent Biruta (Environment), as well as Francis Gatare, the chief executive of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board; and Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive, Rwanda Development Board.

 Speaking to The New Times from Davos, Gatete said that the President’s itinerary includes meeting world leaders.

“We are holding meetings with investors while at the same time attending various conferences. In the process, we are showcasing development in Rwanda,” he said.

On the sidelines of the opening session, President Kagame met South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Norwegian Prime Minister Elna Solberg.

Organisers say panel discussions will tackle such issues as “skilling up for the fourth industrial revolution” and “navigating a multipolar and multiconceptual world.”

Source: allafrica.com

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:20
The gender gap in leadership across boardrooms of the world’s energy sector will come under the spotlight next month when the 2018 Women in Energy Conference takes place in Johannesburg.

The conference, which is a side event of the African Energy Indaba (AEI), will take place on the 19th February 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

According to the organisers this year’s event is designed to aid an increase in leadership and the development of women involved in the African energy space.

An ROE analysis on the top 200 utilities in the world indicated that the top 20 gender-diverse utilities substantially outperformed the bottom 20, endorsing an obvious connection between gender diversity and financial performance.

Diversity driving innovation

With the energy industry constantly striving to accommodate the growing demand and supply of power to homes, businesses and infrastructure, innovative approaches are required to address the related challenges.  This is why diversity in the sector is so significant.

The AEI 2018 Women in Energy Conference facilitates an interactive hub that enables leading women within the energy sector on the continent and beyond, the opportunity to network, share knowledge and achievements and encourage the further advancement of women across all sectors of the energy industry.

“The industry is buoyant with opportunities for multiple skillsets, and these include for example, Project Mangers, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Technicians, Developers, Distribution Engineers and Project Coordinators,” explains the organiser.

Pro-active gender inclusive leadership

“Increasing numbers of women have started crossing the bridge from Technology companies into the Power and Utilities industry. Hence, those women aiming to develop a career in the energy sector in Africa, women energy entrepreneurs, high-potential women looking to enhance and advance their careers, need to attend this invaluable hive of information and knowledge- sharing.”

“Gender parity in leadership needs to be addressed, and shining a spotlight on this critical area and making it part of an organisation’s agenda could alter the approach towards a pro-active gender inclusive leadership in energy in the future,” the organiser concludes.

Source: infrastructurene.ws

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:17
One of the many difficult things about traveling within the continent for Africans is the sparse pool of affordable hotel selections available for booking. It’s not that these hotels don’t exist, it’s that very few online booking platforms have enough information on such hotels.

Global travel booking platforms with operations in Africa often list only the most expensive hotels in a bid to capture foreign business travelers and luxury tourists which make up a sizable portion of Africa’s international arrivals. But Hotels.ng, a Nigerian hotel booking platform is looking to plug that gap and is expanding its service Africa-wide. It now lists nearly 27,000 hotels across the continent.

While other platforms mostly focus only on high-end resorts and luxury hotels, Hotels.ng will be looking to provide average consumers with a wider range of options of moderately priced hotels. “That gap is huge,” Mark Essien, Hotels.ng CEO, tells Quartz.

Since launching in Nigeria in 2013, Hotels.ng has listed over 10,000 hotels in more than 300 cities. That process involved mobilizing over 500 ad hoc staff to visit and validate the hotel addresses and also take photos that potential customers can view to help them make booking decisions. Essien says the company will look to replicate that process across the continent. While the first phase of the expansion will touch on every country in Africa, Essien says the scale of consumer demand will determine which cities to deepen operations in.

Essien says the expansion is because “conditions are right in terms of market development.” One of those conditions is the recent progress recorded in visa policies among many African governments with more nations adopting visa-free or visa on arrival policies for Africans. But regardless of these milestones, Essien says “a lot more effort is needed” as existing travel complications within Africa still makes it “unattractive” for Africans.

Hotels.ng’s revenue model is based on taking commissions on bookings on its platform. The company is regarded as one of the success stories of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. In 2015, it raised $1.2 million from Echo VC, a Lagos-based venture capital fund. According to Essien, the company became profitable and raised additional capital last year but declined to give details of the funding.

In addition to a continental hotel booking platform, Hotels.ng is also launching a flight booking component in partnership with TravelStart, a Nigerian online travel agency. The flight booking platform will provide more “localized options” and make it easier to book flights across the continent, Essien says.

Scaling and targeting a wider addressable market on the continent is usually a major goal for African startups and founders, but so far, very few have. As Hotels.ng joins a small club of startups which are pan-African not just in name but also in operations, Essien is banking on the team’s experience in Nigeria. “We have a lot of experience doing this,” he tells Quartz. “For a newcomer it will be difficult but for us it will be manageable.”

Source: qz.com

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 10:23

This comes after South Africa’s tourism capital tightened water restrictions to just 50 litres. The drought-induced water crisis in the Western Cape province has hit the key tourism sector with visitors cancelling trips. Officials in Cape Town, South Africa’s tourism capital which boasts world renowned attractions such as Table Mountain, have tightened water restrictions to just […]

The post Day Zero: International Visitors Cancel Trips to Cape Town appeared first on The Event.

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 15:33

This year, the continent’s premier travel trade show will highlight the stories that inspired Africa’s world-class tourism businesses. Registration has opened for Africa’s Travel Indaba, which will transform Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre into a lively hub of activity from 8 to 10 May 2018 under the banner Africa’s Stories, Your Success. Owned and […]

The post Register for Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018 appeared first on The Event.

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 14:58

Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency welcomes President Ramaphosa’s announcement during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he will be organising an investment conference in the next three months, targeting both domestic and international investors. This focus on creating a climate conducive for increased investment will […]

The post Wesgro Welcomes President Ramaphosa’s Investment Plans appeared first on The Event.

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 10:31

Zimbabwe is set to host the Data Centre Africa Expo conference – the first ever in the country – as part of efforts to grow the data centre market and to update players in the ICT sector of developments in the industry. The Data Centre Africa 2018 is set to run from February 7 to […]

The post Zimbabwe to host Data Centre Africa 2018 appeared first on The Event.

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 10:12

TMT Finance Africa will take place on 15 March 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa will play host to the TMT Finance Africa event for the first time, which will see more than 200 regional and international telecom, media and technology leaders, investment bankers, investors, advisers and government representatives meet for […]

The post Cape Town to Host TMT Finance Africa 2018 appeared first on The Event.

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