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Aleph Hospitality signs first hotel in Rwanda




Dubai-based hotel management company to operate the MGallery hotel in Kigali and oversee the management of all facilities at the Century Park Hotel and Residences

DUBAI, UAE, 4 March 2022 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Leading independent hotel management company, Aleph Hospitality, has signed a management agreement to operate Accor’s luxury five-star MGallery hotel, as well as all facilities at the new Century Park Hotel and Residences development in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
A signing ceremony took place in Kigali yesterday between Aleph Hospitality respectively, the international hospitality group Accor, and Century Park Hotel and Residences Ltd, the developers of the project.

From left to right, Lucie Tarret-Imbert, Business Development Manager Sub-Saharan Africa for Accor, Billy Cheung, Chairman of Century Park Hotel and Residences Ltd and Bani Haddad, Founder and Managing Director of Aleph Hospitality

Located in the pristine and calm hills of Nyarutarama, Kigali’s most esteemed neighbourhood, Century Park Hotel and Residences is an all-in-one mixed-use residential and leisure park. The unique lifestyle destination offers luxury villas, two- and three-bedroom apartments, four- and five-bedroom duplexes and penthouses as well as three restaurants and bars. In addition, the development features the luxurious MGallery Hotel, the first for the brand in Rwanda, featuring beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, leisure facilities including an outdoor pool as well as conferences and meeting rooms. Century Park Hotel and Residences is ideally situated just 5 minutes from Kigali Convention Centre, 15 minutes from Kigali International Airport and 20 minutes from the capital’s central business district.

Billy Cheung, Chairman of Century Park Hotel and Residences Ltd said: “ We are delighted to formally launch our hotel and residences with agreements with two leading international organ

Bani Haddad, Founder and Managing Director of Aleph Hospitality said: “We are very excited to be part of this incredible new mixed-use development in Kigali, which marks our first entry into Rwanda. We are delighted to be entrusted with the operations of the first MGallery hotel in Rwanda, our first Accor branded property, alongside the management of the facilities and restaurants at Century Park Hotel and Residences, including Billy’s Bistro and Bar, which was voted ‘Best Restaurant of the Year’ in 2021 by the Consumers Choice

Awards. We look forward to building on the success of the incredible food and beverage offerings of Century Park to make it the leading dining, lifestyle and nightlife destination in Kigali.”

Aleph Hospitality, which has targeted 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa by 2026, manages hotels directly for owners, either on a franchise basis for branded properties or as a white label operator for independently branded hotels.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Aleph Hospitality .

About Aleph HospitalityBorn and based in Dubai, Aleph Hospitality is a dynamic hotel management company, working for owners to maximise the value of their assets in the Middle East and Africa. The regional specialist’s customised, results-driven alternative to traditional hotel management models includes third party and white label operations. Aleph Hospitality manages hotels directly for owners and facilitates franchising partnerships with leading global brands. With in-depth market knowledge, several decades’ experience working with the world’s largest hotel companies, and a company culture based on trust, responsiveness and flexibility, Aleph Hospitality delivers superior results for hotel owners, an exceptional hospitality experience for its guests and a professional environment for its workforce. Aleph has 10 operating hotels in its portfolio and has earmarked a pipeline of 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa by 2026. To find out more, visit


Anne Bleeker, Managing Partner, In2 Consulting / +971 56 603 0886

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African Media Agency -English

Leading US-Africa Trade and Investments Initiative, Prosper Africa Partners with Africa Fintech Summit as Gold Sponsor




WASHINGTON DC, United States of America, 20 March 2022, /African Media Agency/- Africa Fintech Summit is pleased to announce Prosper Africa as a Gold Sponsor for Africa Fintech Summit in 2023 to be held in Washington DC on the 12th April 2023 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Prosper Africa is the U.S. Government initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries.

The sponsorship comes at the heels of the US-Africa Leadership Summit (ALS) and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, held last December in Washington, D.C.

Recognizing the tremendous growth potential of Africa’s technology sector, President Joe Biden announced the launch of the White House’s Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative to expand digital access and literacy across the continent, and Prosper Africa announced the new Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), at the Business Forum on December 14.

The Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance will be officially launched at a special session during the Africa Fintech Summit. This tech alliance of major U.S. companies aims to accelerate e-commerce and digital trade in Africa and address legal, regulatory, and logistical bottlenecks across the continent. 

“Africa’s digital ecosystem offers massive potential to spur economic recovery, promote opportunity, and create jobs,” said Scott Cameron, Acting Prosper Africa Coordinator. “We’re pleased to join the Africa Fintech Summit as a Gold Sponsor and partner for the upcoming 9th Summit here in Washington DC.” 

Prosper Africa will be joined by other U.S. Government agencies to engage with the tech innovators, founders, and ecosystem players and showcase the full suite of U.S. Government services and resources to advance fintech growth and U.S.-Africa investment. 

Since launching Prosper Africa in June 2019, the U.S. Government has helped close 1100 deals across 49 countries for a total estimated value of $65 billion in two-way trade and investment.

“It is with immense gratitude and great pleasure that we welcome Prosper Africa as our Gold Sponsor for our summit in Washington DC in April this year. We are keen to work with Prosper Africa and the initiative’s partner U.S. Government agencies to avail US’ innovation capital to the African Fintech and tech ecosystem through the various tools at hand and deepen the US-Africa tech and investment ties,” said Zekarias Amsalu, Co-Founder of AFTS and MD of Ibex Frontier. 

Since its first summit in 2018, the Africa Fintech Summit has become the largest bi-annual financial technology gathering on the African continent. In addition to Prosper Africa’s Gold sponsorship, AFTS will be supported by a diverse cohort of partners and sponsors.

The 9th edition of AFTS will focus on US-Africa Tech connection, fintech regulatory best practices, diaspora banking & remittance, African fintechs expanding globally, cross border payment movements & use-cases for decentralized finance (Defi), fintech funding trends, cross-border payments under the AfCFTA, and numerous other spotlight topics. 

Tickets for AFTS Washington DC are on sale now. To learn more or to register, visit

Delegates get 25% on AFTS tickets by using the discount code PROSPER25 at checkout of registration at 

Distributed by African Media Agency in partnership with Africa Fintech Summit.

About Africa Fintech Summit 

AFTS ( ) is the premier global initiative dedicated to the African fintech ecosystem. AFTS is traditionally hosted in Washington, D.C., each April during the World Bank/IFC annual meeting week and in a different African city each November (most recently Cape Town, Lagos, Addis Ababa and Cairo). The summit is being held in a hybrid format, in person in the selected Venue in compliance with COVID-19 protocol and global live virtual delegates.  

Supported by an advisory board of thought leaders and fintech pioneers, AFTS is a unique space where innovative ideas are debated, investments mobilized, partnership deals signed, and collaborations formed across sectors and geographies. AFTS is organized in partnership between Washington, D.C. based firms, strategic advisory group, Dedalus Global, and Pan-African consultancy advisory firm, Ibex Frontier.  

About Prosper Africa

Prosper Africa Prosper Africa is the White House initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries. Prosper Africa brings together – and enhances – the full suite of U.S. Government services and resources to help companies and investors do business in U.S. and African markets. Through the initiative, the U.S. Government is launching innovative new tools to advance deals, unlock market opportunities, and strengthen business and investment climates.

For more information, please visit: 

Media contact:

Charles Isidi

Digital Engagement Strategist, AFTS

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Change management best practice for cloud transformation success




JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 16 March 2023 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Companies are in a race to achieve new digital capabilities as ongoing economic disruption and a changing business landscape drive the need for rapid innovation. African organisations are accelerating their adoption of cloud solutions to drive greater efficiency, scale into new markets, and meet changing customer demands.

Gartner predicts that worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow 20.7% to reach $591.8-billion in 2023, outpacing the 18.8% growth forecast for 2022. 

However, says Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, moving to cloud environments requires effective change management to ensure digital transformation initiatives reach their objectives. “There is palpable excitement around cloud services in African markets, but there are still questions around how to effectively migrate and how to orchestrate multiple cloud solutions once the migration is complete. And while it’s true that one of the main benefits of cloud services is the ability to fail quickly without incurring huge cost or time overruns, you really don’t want your cloud initiative to fail due to poor change management.”

Studies have highlighted the importance of effective change management to the success of digital transformation initiatives. McKinsey data indicates that less than a third of digital transformation initiatives succeed worldwide. This is partly due to poor change management, of which barely a third (34%) are clear successes. 

Methodology, Partners reduce perils of Cloud Migrations

Brent Flint, Head of Enterprise Applications at Dimension Data, believes part of the answer to effective change management during cloud transformation projects rests on an effective methodology. “Migrating core business processes from on-premise environments to the cloud requires a proven methodology to accelerate the transition and reduce associated risks. A repeatable methodology that incorporates automation to ensure aspects such as data integrity, for example, can ease data migration and speed up the time-to-value.”

SAP introduced RISE with SAP in 2021 to help companies get started with SAP cloud solutions, accelerate cloud adoption, and simplify the process of shifting core business processes to cloud environments. “Companies undertaking digital transformation initiatives that could benefit from RISE need to ensure their implementation partners are accredited and have the skills capacity to support the project throughout,” explains Flint. 

Beveridge adds that companies that successfully leverage the insight, skills and experience of partner organisations can reduce risk and enhance the impact and business outcomes of their transformation efforts. “Companies are realising that cloud adoption is not a once-off event: it requires near-continuous refinement and evolution to deliver business value. This makes the role of expert partners, who have developed experience with specific use cases of cloud technologies and can guide organisations in their adoption of cloud solutions, critical to their success.”

Keys to cloud success

Understanding how and where the journey to the cloud should start remains among the biggest obstacles to the digital transformation efforts of African organisations. 

Lauren Wortmann, Vice President: Applications at Dimension Data, says there’s still some resistance to the cloud among organisations limiting the success of cloud transformation projects. “Cloud adoption is a business-critical activity, but the optimal starting point is not always clear. Many organisations and their IT teams also acknowledge that the shift to cloud is coming, but there’s internal resistance due to fear about how it will affect the business and existing IT skills.”

Arguably the most important factor when developing a cloud strategy is defining a clear business case for cloud adoption. “Cloud is not just about cost efficiency,” says Wortmann. “It’s about modernising the business and its core processes, unlocking new opportunities, enhancing capabilities and achieving broader digital transformation. For this to be successful, there needs to be massive buy-in from the business at every layer, from the boardroom to the IT department and every end-user.”

The era of large on-premise deployments was typified by big winners and big losers, but the new era of cloud has changed the dynamic entirely. Flint explains: “In the old days, if you defined the scope of the project correctly upfront and quoted accurately, you could deliver a successful implementation that delivered new capabilities and was profitable to the technology provider and their implementation partner. The era of cloud requires a change of mindset. Today, tech vendors and partner organisations need to strive for near-continuous innovation, with KPIs around unlocking additional business value from existing technologies built into managed services contracts. It puts the onus on partners to unlock features and benefits from software, with the goal of ongoing value generation.”

Wortmann adds that companies should be smart when choosing how they start their cloud journey. “Aspects such as Human Capital Management are perfect starting points for cloud adoption, with solutions like SAP SuccessFactors offering a high-value, low-risk way to test how cloud migration plays out in the organisation. Larger, more critical business processes such as core finance, sales and logistics carry high degrees of risk due to fears of disruption and business continuity in the event of downtime.”

Flint believes one of the keys to successful cloud adoption is simplification. “Organisations should work with their partners to understand their application landscape and identify opportunities for simplification. Reducing customisation can also keep things simple while driving costs down. Partners need to avoid customisation to limit technical debt and achieve quicker time to value. Adopting best-practice standards for core business processes opens the door to incremental innovation which can suit cloud-first companies better.”

Beveridge says this requires a change in mindset to how digital transformation initiatives are approached, both by customers and partners. “The most successful tech partners will be the ones that develop strong commercial models that meet customers’ expectations of what value digital transformation projects should deliver. However, there’s no blueprint for how this should work. Organisations should work closely with tech providers and implementation partners to develop strong business use cases and change management programmes to ensure each initiative delivers business value and unlocks new capabilities, efficiencies and opportunities for growth.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

About SAP 

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit   

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see for additional trademark information and notices.  

Note to editors: 

To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV. 

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For the Republic of Congo, Economic Diversification Offers a Path to Prosperity




© Parfait Iloki | Ministry of Land Management, Infrastructure and Road Maintenance, Republic of Congo.


  • The Republic of Congo’s oil-driven growth model has reached its limits, says a new World Bank report, titled The Republic of Congo’s Road to Prosperity: Building Foundations for Economic Diversification.
  • Sustainable development urgently requires efforts to diversify national assets, focusing on stronger institutions, development of human and physical capital, and a more balanced exploitation of natural resources.
  • The report identifies ways in which Congo can achieve its economic diversification objectives and recommends policy reforms and investments in several priority areas.

BRAZZAVILLE, March 15, 2023 – The World Bank issued today a new edition of the Country Economic Memorandum reportfor the Republic of Congo. The report, titled The Republic of Congo’s Road to Prosperity: Building Foundations for Economic Diversification.

Here are some highlights from the report:

1.       Oil sector dominates Congo’s economy

For the last 15 years, the structure of the Congolese economy has remained broadly unchanged. The hydrocarbon sector has dominated the economy, accounting for about 42% of GDP, 80% of total exports, and 60% of domestic revenues. The services sector is the economy’s second largest, with a 33% share of GDP, while agriculture, forestry, and fishing represent 6%. The manufacturing sector, which is mostly small-scale, has averaged 6.5% of GDP.

Despite oil’s outsize role in the economy and the coun

try’s industry sector, it employs only a small percentage of the labor force, at 20%. In fact, about 75% of the Congolese workforce (including most youth) are employed in the informal sector, either self-employed or in low productivity jobs.

Congo’s current oil-dependent economic model is unlikely to deliver sustainable growth and productive jobs going forward, given the projected depletion of the country’s oil reserves and the global transition to a low carbon economy. The new report contributes to the Government’s diversification agenda by identifying key policies and reforms to build the foundations for more diversified development that will support long-term growth, increase productivity and improve life for the Congolese people.

The hydrocarbon sector plays a dominant role in the economy but offers fewer employment opportunities

2.       Low and declining labor productivity

Congo faces low and declining labor productivity compared to peer countries, restricting economic growth. The decline in labor productivity is driving a drop in per capita income and rise in poverty. Using the international poverty line of $2.15 a day, the poverty rate in Congo rose to 52% in 2021, from 33% in 2014.

Increasing labor productivity is key to prosperity as productivity growth is the key driver of sustainable income growth and poverty reduction. The report analyzes firm-level labor productivity, for the first time in the Republic of Congo, with a focus on the non-oil sector. It finds that the average worker in Congo needs to work 2.6 times longer to produce the same output as a worker in a peer country. In 2019, Congo’s overall labor productivity, measured as value-added per worker, was only $4,500), compared to an average of $6,200 among regional peer countries.

To increase productivity, Congo should prioritize policies to reduce distortions that cause misallocation of resources between firms, i.e. by enabling production factors to flow to the most productive firms. Such policies should focus on the services sector, which appears to be the most affected.

Change in labor productivity relative to 2005 (%)

Source: WDI and World Bank Staff Calculations. June 2022

3.       Boosting productivity through competition

Competition is an essential driving force for boosting long-term productivity and private sector development. In Congo, the government plays a large role in the economy through state owned enterprises (SOEs) in the energy, transport, banking, and healthcare sectors. In some other sectors, initial success with market liberalization has fizzled in the last decade and, the telecommunication sector, for example, has been reduced to two market players. The lack of competition is reflected in the decline in growth of mobile use (see chart below).

The report recommends actions to enhance private sector entry and ensure a level playing field for private and public operators and modernizing competition regulation and establishing an independent national competition authority.

It also recommends pro-competitive regulation in selected sectors such as electricity and telecommunications, as both are vital for the efficient functioning of other industries and crucial to the digital economy, which Congo has recognized as a priority for economic diversification and growth. The lack of reliable electricity services undermines firms’ productivity. However, despite past attempts at reform, the power sector remains constrained by limited coordination and oversight, discouraging private investment. Similarly, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, despite recent investments on optic fiber, suffers from inadequate infrastructure and high prices for internet services, constraining the productivity of Congo’s firms.

Mobile telephony penetration has faded after a decade sharp increase

Source: ITU/ICT Database. June 2022.

4.       Trade competitiveness

International trade can help accelerate growth and improve living standards. Congo’s current trade is highly limited in both product range (mainly oil and minerals) and export market (mainly East Asia). Gas and agriculture sectors provide immediate opportunities for Congo to diversify its export basket. Congo has the fifth largest proven natural gas reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa, which remains largely unexploited. Similarly, the arable land for agriculture in Congo remains untapped and, as a result, Congo is a net importer of food products.

To support export diversification, Congo should reduce tariffs, enhance regulatory transparency and speed up the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It should also enhance efforts for toward greater integration in global value chains. This would require increasing the country’s attractiveness as a foreign investment destination, improving access to credit, avoiding rigid regulation of the labor market, improving access to inputs, reforming customs, and investing in ports and roads, ICT connectivity. These policies would be key to leveraging the positive impact of the AfCFTA.  

Congo’s exports are highly concentrated on oil and minerals

Source: World Bank Staff Calculations using data from BACI (CEPII). June 2022.

5.       Logistics and eco-tourism

The report examines two key trade-related components that have the potential to significantly contribute to export growth and economic diversification in Congo: logistics or trade facilitation, and eco-tourism. Improved efficiency of logistics processes could reduce trade costs, including for key imports and increase exports of merchandise goods. Ecotourism, a sector with great unrealized potential in Congo, could make important contributions to job creation, rural development, and exports of services.  

Logistics efficiency could be improved by scrutinizing public-private partnership contracts and adopting unified information technology for maritime trade. Ecotourism development could be supported by improving regulation and allocating funding to protect natural assets, strengthening regulatory and enforcement agencies, and expanding transport infrastructure and marketing.

Congo’s logistics performance has been improving but lags against peers

Source: World Bank. June 2022.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The World Bank

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