Coming from an overhang of a failed hotel project in Beitbridge, NSSA is again angling to invest close to $20 million in another Belgian-American hotel group, Carlson Rezidor’s Radisson Blu Hotel project in Harare. The authority has so far issued a non-binding expression of interest to be part of the investors interested in the project. NSSA general manager Liz Chitiga, said discussions are ongoing and relevant announcements will be made at an appropriate time.
“The authority issued a non-binding expression of interest to be part of a consortium of local and foreign investors who are involved in the Radisson Blu project. Discussions are ongoing and relevant announcements will be made at an appropriate time,” said Chitiga.
She said the authority is constantly on the lookout for projects which provide returns that enable NSSA to pay pension obligations, support the national development of key projects that create employment, and are basis for attracting foreign direct investment into the local economy.
Chitiga said tourism is one of the low hanging fruits under the “Zimbabwe is open for business” agenda that was ushered in President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he assumed office in November 2017.
NSSA has as such, identified the cluster as one of its target investment sectors. As a leading institutional investor with a book valued at over $1,4 billion, NSSA believes there are vast opportunities that exist in the tourism sector. “This has motivated the authority to take bold steps with existing investments such the Rainbow Tourism Group, where we’ve now taken control.
“The increase in tourist arrivals is positive for investors who broaden their investment targets across the tourism value chain. As such, we anticipate significant investment in the sector going forward,” said Chitiga. NSSA has availed a financial facility running into millions for the construction of the hotel, sources close to developments say.
The funding will, on completion, be converted into 25 percent equity in the business. CBZ Holdings, through its wholly owned asset management subsidiary Datvest, has been linked to a similar deal. The hotel spearheaded by local company, Streamwalk, will feature 245 rooms and will be situated alongside the Chapman Golf Club. The Radisson Blu Hotel Harare is scheduled to open in 2019.
A recent hotel construction project was NSSA’s 1250 room Beitbridge hotel which gobbled $49 million. NSSA administers social security public funds on behalf of about 1,3 million contributors.
The Harare hotel will have 40 long stay residences, an all-day restaurant, a speciality restaurant and cocktail lounge, a pool bar and grill, and a large terrace, all with views across the golf course. There are also plans for meeting and event spaces. An Amani Spa with a private gym will be complemented by two swimming pools and a kids’ club.
The hospitality opened five Radisson Blu hotels in the first six months of 2016 and signed four new hotels including first Quorvus Collection in Africa.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in 2016 opened five Radisson Blu properties – Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi Upper Hill in Kenya (271 rooms), Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carré Eden in Morocco (198 rooms), Radisson Blu Residence with 187 luxury hotel apartments in Maputo, Mozambique (group’s first residence concept in Africa), Radisson Blu Hotel Abidjan Airport Ivory Coast (261 rooms) and West Africa’s tallest hotel and Radisson Blu Hotel 2 Février in Lomé (320 rooms).
The group is also entering its 28th country in Africa and taking the Park Inn by Radisson brand to the Indian Ocean Islands. The hotel group has over 1,400 hotels in 115 countries. Carlson Rezidor‘s total portfolio comprises 69 hotels in 28 countries, with over 15,000 rooms in operation or under development. Radisson Blu leads the way with more hotel rooms under development than any of the other with 85 plus hotel brands active in Africa today. The group’s ambition is to be the leading player in the travel and tourism sector across the continent.