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IFC Investment in Azalai Hotels in Abidjan to Revitalize Côte d’Ivoire’s Business Infrastructure

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, April 8, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will provide a €6 million loan to Compagnie Hôtelière de la Lagune S.A., the Ivorian company of the Azalai Hotels Group. The loan will support the construction of a new business hotel that will contribute to the revitalization of commercial infrastructure in Abidjan. The project is also expected to create 160 direct jobs, at a time when unemployment is high in the country following years of conflict.
Mossadeck Bally, CEO of the Azalai Hotels Group, said: “From the start, Azalai has been able to count on IFC. As we expand our operations to Côte d’Ivoire, IFC’s loan will enable us to access long term finance, and we will benefit from IFC’s environmental and social expertise, including advice on green building.”
Atul Mehta, IFC Director for the Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services department said “The Azalai Hotels Group is a long-term partner of IFC. With our support they have developed the first private West African business hotel chain. This investment meets two of our strategic goals: to boost African-grown businesses and to promote tourism in frontier markets, especially those affected by conflicts. It will support the rebuilding of critical business infrastructure needed to further attract foreign investors in Côte d’Ivoire, after 10 years of conflict.”
The project consists of developing and managing a four-star business hotel. The hotel facilities will also include restaurants, conference rooms, and parking. The targeted clientele consists mostly of African business travelers.
IFC has supported Azalai since its first project in 1994 when it acquired the Grand Hotel of Bamako, Mali.  Azalai Hotels now owns and operates seven hotels across four West African countries, providing 700 hundred rooms, employing 650 staff, and operating a hospitality training academy.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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