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Africa's hospitality movers and shakes billed to speak at HICA 2015

Mmatsatsi Ramawela HICA Conference Chair and TBCSA CEO
The rapid growth of the hospitality industry and the extent to which business acquisitions, takeovers, buyouts and co-branding are shaping growth are two major trends which are expected to underpin industry debate and dialogue at the upcoming Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (“HICA”). 

This is according to the HICA Conference Chairman and CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (“TBCSA”), Mmatšatši Ramawela.  

In giving an update on confirmed  speakers for the 2015 conference, Ramawela reiterated that the hospitality industry across the sub-Saharan Africa region has witnessed record expansion in the past few years and “a dialogue on how the industry would evolve in the coming years was important and necessary”.   

HICA 2015 will take place from 9th to 11th September, at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg under the theme Growth through Partnerships.  The conference is organised by the TBCSA in collaboration with sponsors including Hilton Hotels, Marriott International Inc and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, just to mention a few of the leading sponsors.   

The conference is a premier business-to-business networking and engagement platform for the hotel and broader hospitality sector in the sub-Saharan Africa region.  It assembles the region’s leading hospitality professionals along with international hoteliers, investors, developers and senior public sector leadership to engage on investment and developmental issues within the hotel, resort, mixed-use, real-estate and tourism industries.  

Billed to speak at the conference is a bevy of top local and regional industry leaders which include:
·         Wivine Mumba Matipa, Director-General of the National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI), Democratic Republic of Congo
·         Adrian Gardiner, CEO and Founder of The Mantis Collection which owns and manages hotel properties in different parts of the world
·         Arthur Gillis, former Group CEO of Protea Hotels and now Non-Executive Chairman of Marriott Hotels
·         Glen Stutchbury, CEO of Cresta Hotels with properties in Botswana and Zimbabwe
·         Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director of the Mauritius Board of Investments
·         Roger Gardner, CEO of Sunbird Tourism Limited which operates out of Malawi
·         Monwabisi Fandeso, Executive Director for Corporate Affairs at SAB Miller
·         Marek Zmyslowski, MD of successful Nigerian based online travel agency, Jovago
·         Adv Brenda Madumise, CEO of South African-based, Khomelela Investments  

On the international front, the programme features amongst others: 
·         Rudy Jagersbacher, President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide for Middle East and Africa
·         Mark Satterfield, COO, Marriott International for Africa and Middle East
·         Mark Wayne-Smith, CEO of UK-based commercial real-estate firm, Jones Lang LaSalle
·         Philippe Baretaud, Senior Vice President for Hotel Development, Accor Hotels
·         David Claassen, VP of Development, MEA Region, for the Four Seasons Hotel
·         Kumash Shukla, Senior Vice President at RateGain for Asia Pacific and Africa
·         Neil George, Senior Vice President for Acquisitions and Development at Starwood Hotels and resorts  

“Putting together a conference programme which will be appealing to both new market entrants, as well as experienced industry leaders is tough”, Ramawela said, however one of our core principles in hosting this conference has always been that we want HICA to cater for a broad range of delegate needs”.  

In addition to the high-profile speaker line-up, the conference programme also includes sessions dedicated to ensuring that delegates derive maximum value from their attendance.  

“This includes a newly-repackaged ‘needs and leads’ session which will see a number of delegates afforded the opportunity to present their hotel development ideas or projects to potential partners”, explains Ramawela. “The last day of the conference is essentially a value-add for delegates who have a keen interest on technology and online distribution channels in the hospitality sector”.  These are all in an effort to ensure that each delegate has something valuable to take away from the conference” 

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