The New Times (Kigali)
September 23, 2005
Posted to the web September 23, 2005
Richard Muliisa

Aga Khan Eyes Intercontinental

The Managing Director of the Serena Group of Hotels, who was recently in the country to identify and assess investment potentials, has zeroed in on Intercontinental Hotel, Kigali. Mahmoud Jan Muhammad also hinted at Kivu Sun Hotel, Nyungwe Game Reserve and Akagera National Park.

"We have already identified a number of investment potentials in the country, specifically targeting the tourism sector," he said. Muhammad disclosed that Serena Group, which is an arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development chains of hotels and safari lodges in East Africa, a hotel in Zanzibar and Mozambique. AKFED is the major shareholder in the Serena Group.

"We have been investing in Kenya for the last thirty years; Tanzania for ten years and Rwanda is our next target because of the emphasis it has put in developing the tourism sector," he added.

When asked on the group's investment portfolio Muhammad said: "We are proud of US$160m worth of investments in East Africa, Mozambique and Zanzibar. US$ 80m in Kenya, US$45m in Tanzania, US$26m in Uganda and US$15m in Mozambique, with plans to disburse US$15m more in the same region.

He added: "we are a reputable group of hotels in as far as promoting tourism in the region is concerned. We are on a survey on hotels but we also hope to invest in safari lodges and beach hotels in the countryside".

Efforts to contact the Director General of the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA) Williams Nkurunziza were futile by press time.