Rezidor to open Radisson convention centre in Kigali

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The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel groups worldwide, has made Rwanda the 62nd nation where the company has a footprint. The Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali, will feature 292 rooms and is scheduled to open in 2012.

"This signing symbolizes the new optimism investors have in Rwanda, and further underlines our strong commitment to Africa - this emerging and promising continent is one of our key areas for future business development", said Andrew McLachlan, Rezidor's vice-president business development Africa & Indian Ocean Islands.

Rezidor has numerous hotels under development in African capital and major cities. In 2010 alone, the group plans the opening of Radisson Blu hotels in Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Maputo (Mozambique) and Lusaka (Zambia).

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre in Kigali will be a future landmark and part of a mixed-use development in the Rwandan capital. Rezidor will manage the hotel and convention centre. Besides 292 guest rooms, services will comprise six food and beverage outlets, a spa and fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool, and boutique retail shops. The convention centre will have a net floor area of 32000 square metres, which includes a multipurpose arena with a capacity for up to 2 600 delegates, seven sub-divisible conference rooms and 10 smaller meeting rooms.

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre is part of a major urban redevelopment Public Private Partnership project that is being developed as one of the most attractive facilities in the region and possibly on the African continent. The Convention Centre is located adjacent to the most important traffic junction in the city where the roads leading to the airport, to government offices and to parliament all meet. Future plans are to develop a 24-hour shopping and entertainment centre in the city`s CBD and surrounding tourist hubs. "The significant design of the Convention Centre with its dome and spiral motifs dates back to the roots of the old African culture", said Leopold Mukama, MD of Ultimate Concepts Ltd, owner of Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre.

Rwanda has made considerable strides since the 1994 genocide, and per capita income has nearly tripled since the early 1990s. The combination of a political commitment to free market economics, an ambitious privatisation programme, and good governance, has attracted international investment in the country. The 2010 World Bank Doing Business survey ranked Rwanda as the "Top Reformer" in the world in 2009. In the long-term, Rwanda also offers tourism opportunities.

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