Zambia’s state pension fund will finance a US$98 million urban regeneration project in the nation’s capital that will include a 148-room hotel operated by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
“It is scheduled to be completed by mid-2015,” David Chewe, investments director at Zambia’s National Pension Scheme Fund Authority, said in reply to questions. “This is part of the renewal of the central business district, and it is hoped that other developers and property owners would respond positively.”
The development in downtown Lusaka will include a shopping mall and office block alongside the Hilton Garden Inn, which will be managed by the hotel operator, said Mr Chewe. Hilton, the world’s biggest hotel chain, is joining other operators, including Radisson Hotels International Inc and InterContinental Hotels Group plc, in establishing a presence in Zambia, Africa’s second biggest copper producer.
Marriott International Inc, the second largest publicly traded hotel chain, paid about US$200 million in April for South Africa’s Protea Hospitality Corp, which has seven hotels in Zambia. Africa is seeing the world’s fastest pace of hotel development as investors and operators tap an expanding middle class and rising travel to compensate for slowing growth in European and US markets.