Windhoek, Namibia, August 28, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest in
Protea Hotel Eliakim, a new hotel to be built in Windhoek that will help
meet the growing demand for quality accommodation in Namibia’s capital.
United Africa Group, a Namibian company,
will use IFC’s $10 million loan to build the five-star, 124-room hotel
in Freedom Square, an exclusive and prime location in central Windhoek.
A portion of the loan will be denominated in rand and structured using
the swap market to mitigate foreign exchange risk.
The hotel will have extensive conference
and event facilities, helping attract more business to the downtown area.
It will benefit from a mixed-use complex comprising retail stores, offices,
and apartments that will be developed simultaneously at the same location
by a related company.
“The Protea Hotel Eliakim will revitalize
the city’s downtown area and help meet the demands of business and leisure
travelers looking for high-quality accommodation in Windhoek,” said Haddis
Tilahun, United Africa Group’s Executive Director. “The hotel will be
Namibia’s flagship accommodation, providing luxurious African hospitality
in a modern setting.”
“IFC is committed to encouraging long-term partnerships with clients to
help them expand their businesses, become successful, and contribute more
to economic development,” said Mike Tiller, IFC Senior Manager in Sub-Saharan
Africa. “This transaction will help United Africa create jobs and opportunities
in an important sector of Namibia's economy.”
The project is IFC’s second with United
Africa Group. In 1998, IFC financed the group’s first hotel, Protea Hotel
Ondangwa, also in Namibia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international
financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services
to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have
the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC
committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through
syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing
countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.