March 01 , 2002 11:32AM

Aga Khan Fund Acquires Polana Hotel In Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mac 1 (SNNi/AIM) - The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has purchased 100 per cent of the shares in Maputo's best known hotel, the Polana.

Previously the hotel was 55 percent owned by a foreign consortium headed by the South African Kairos Hotels group, and 45 per cent by Mozambican companies - the national airline, LAM, the private financial investment company, SOCIEF, and the state- owned National Tourism Company, ENT.

The new owners signed the deeds of purchase in Maputo on Wednesday.

The representative of the Aga Khan Fund in Mozambique, Nazim Ahmed, explained that there are still a number of pending issues between the involved parties, that should be sorted out within the coming three weeks.

He also said that the purchase of the hotel is just the first step of a tourist development programme in Mozambique, which is to focus on the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Ahmed said that the fund's branch for tourism and hotels, Serena Tourism Promotion Services, is set to introduce changes and improvements to the Polana, upgrade it to the level of the best hotels in Africa, and strengthen the branch's presence in the region.---BERNAMA

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