KIGALI — To help strengthen Rwanda’s tourism sector and create jobs, IFC on Friday announced a partnership with 3B Group of Hotels to support the company’s expansion and the upgrading of its existing lodges in the country.
IFC will lend up to $3.7 million to 3B Group of Hotels to support its construction of a 30-room mid-market safari camp in Akagera in Rwanda’s Great Lakes region and the refurbishment and upgrading of its three existing properties in Rwanda. IFC’s investment will also help 3B Group of Hotels meet its working capital needs and strengthen its environmental, social, and governance practices.
The projects are expected to create more than 90 permanent jobs, and more temporary jobs during the construction phase.
Tourism makes a major contribution to jobs and economic activity in Rwanda, famed for its mountain gorillas, but the sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with tourism earnings plummeting by about 75 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank. Many tourism-focused businesses struggled during the depths of the pandemic, making increased investment in the sector even more urgent.
“We are expanding our operations to the eastern region to give our guests a full experience of Rwanda’s tourism offerings and diversity in terms of tourism locations. Most importantly, our expansion will improve 3B Group of Hotel’s average length of stay,” said Paul Muvunyi, Chairman, 3B Group of Hotels. “So, IFC’s financing has come at a critical stage and will support 3B Group of Hotels to complete construction of the 30-room Akagera Safari Camp Lodge and renovate existing lodges.”
“Tourism is an important driver of economic growth in Rwanda and other parts of Africa, but the sector needs additional support in the wake of the damaging effects of COVID-19 on trade and travel. IFC’s partnership with 3B Group of Hotels will create jobs and help strengthen Rwanda’s tourism sector as it recovers from the pandemic. IFC invests in tourism because of its positive developmental impact on a range of local businesses,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
IFC’s funding package includes a $1.7 million concessional loan from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, a fund that supports private sector growth in lower-income countries.
IFC also works with governments to strengthen the overall tourism ecosystem to support more competitive destinations that attract travelers.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the IDA Private Sector Window
As part of the record $75 billion IDA18 replenishment, the World Bank Group created the $2.5 billion IDA Private Sector Window to catalyze private sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries. Recognizing the key role of the private sector in achieving IDA18 objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals, the window provides concessional funds for co-investment alongside IFC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) private investments. Concessional funds help to mitigate risk and reduce barriers, which unlocks and crowds in private investment in emerging markets.
About 3B Group of Hotels
3B Group of Hotels was established in 2009. The group has four unique properties around Rwanda. Each property in the group comes with its own unique style based on its location. 3B operates three functioning mid-market lodges: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge near the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda, Kivu Lodge on the shores of the Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda; and Flame Tree Village hotel in Kigali, the capital city and will soon open a 30-room mid-market safari camp in Akagera National Park.
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