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IFC Investment in Union Gold’s Protea Arcades Hotel Promotes Jobs, Investment in Tourism in Zambia


In Johannesburg
Houtan Bassiri

Phone:  +27 11 731 3179

Email:  
hbassiri@ifc.org

In Washington, DC

Carmen Powell

Phone:  +1 (202) 473-4982

Email:  
cpowell@ifc.org


Lusaka/Washington, D.C., May 14, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced it will invest in Protea Arcades Ltd, a subsidiary of the Union Gold (Zambia) Ltd, to help meet the growing demand for quality accommodation in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka.

Union Gold will use the $1.8 million loan to build and operate the Protea Arcades Hotel, a four-star 100-room hotel with two large conference facilities. It will be located at the popular Arcades Mall, along the road connecting Lusaka’s international airport with the central business district.


“The collaboration between Union Gold and IFC will help address the shortage of affordable hotel accommodation in Lusaka and stimulate the hotel and retail sectors,” said Mark O’Donnell, Managing Director of Union Gold. “This transaction expands our strong ongoing partnership with IFC and the continued benefit of the global expertise and standards it brings to its investments.”


The project is IFC’s third with Union Gold. IFC in 1997 financed Union Gold’s Protea Safari Lodge and in 2001 invested in the Protea Chingola Hotel, both also in Zambia.


“IFC is committed to encouraging long-term partnerships with clients to help them expand their business success and contribute more to economic development,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. “This transaction helps Union Gold create jobs and opportunities in an important sector of Zambia's economy.”


“IFC is eager to expand our support to the Zambian businesses that are committed to good practices and that can benefit from our global expertise in implementing them,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s Director for Global Manufacturing and Services. “Union Gold is developing this hotel to a high standard that can be a model for the domestic tourism sector.”


About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.

About Union Gold

Union Gold (Zambia) Limited was established in 2000 as a holding company to consolidate the separate business interests of its shareholders. It has a spectrum of interests in trading, retail, manufacturing, and tourism.  Union Gold is also part of a joint venture in the establishment of Spar in Zambia.