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Marriott International continues expansion across Africa with three new deal signings

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Rendering of the Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia Source: Marriott International, Inc

Anticipated new hotels will mark debut in Liberia while strengthening presence in Morocco and Ghana

MARRAKESH, Morocco, February 8, 2019/ — From the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain in Marrakech, Marriott International (www.Marriott.com) announced three new deal signings across North and West Africa, reinforcing the company’s commitment to expanding its presence across the continent. The new deal signings highlight the company’s growth in Morocco and Ghana, while marking its debut in Liberia.

Organised by Bench Events, Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain is a gathering that unites North and West African countries in a bid to develop their economies and support hospitality investment. The forum connects business leaders from international and local markets – driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure, entertainment and hotel development across the region.

“New and established markets across North and West Africa continue to present us with immense opportunities to further enhance and diversify our portfolio in the continent,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Middle East & Africa at Marriott International. “The new deal signings further strengthen our robust development pipeline, which is a result of our long-established presence in Africa and the trust owners have in Marriott International and our compelling portfolio of diverse brands.”

The three new hotel signings announced during the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain are:

The St. Regis Marrakech Resort

Marriott International’s luxury brand portfolio in Morocco is slated to further expand with the signing of The St. Regis Marrakech Resort. The St. Regis Marrakech Resort will be a part of the Assoufid Golf Resort and will include 80 luxuriously-appointed guestrooms and villas, all offering spectacular views of the Atlas Mountains. With leisure facilities such as a spa, pool, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, The St. Regis Marrakech Resort will also feature six distinctive culinary experiences, including two specialty restaurants and the iconic St. Regis Bar inspired by the King Cole Bar at the brand’s flagship in New York. Offering the ideal escape from the city, the resort will be in close proximity to the award-winning, 18-hole Assoufid Golf Club which has established itself as one of the best courses in Africa. Anticipated to open in 2024, the resort is owned by Assoufid Properties Development SA and developed by United Real Estate Company (URC), part of the Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) group of companies.

Residence Inn by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport

The company’s footprint in Ghana is expected to further expand with the signing of the Residence Inn by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport, which will mark the debut of the extended-stay brand in the country. Projected to open in 2023, the 12-story hotel will consist of 160 spacious suites with separate living, working and sleeping zones, all equipped with fully functional kitchens. Other facilities in the hotel will include three food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop bar, a health and leisure club and a boardroom. The hotel will be strategically located in the Airport Residential Area of Accra and less than 1.5 kilometres from the Kotoka International Airport. A franchised property, the hotel will be managed by Yamusah Hotels Management Company Limited, the owner and developer of the property.

Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia

The company expects to make its debut in Liberia with the Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia. Anticipated to open in 2020, the hotel will consist of 111 stylishly appointed guestrooms and four food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop bar and lounge and speciality restaurant. The hotel will be in the heart of Monrovia’s central business district and near key governmental and ministerial buildings, diplomatic facilities and the University of Liberia. The hotel will boast Four Points by Sheraton’s approachable design and excellent service and reflect the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers. The Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia is a franchised property owned by Sea Suites Hotel LLC and will be managed by Aleph Hospitality.

Strong Growth Momentum across North and West Africa

Marriott International is on track to expand its footprint in Africa to 200 hotels by the end of 2023. The North and West Africa regions play a pivotal role in the company’s overall growth strategy for the continent.

In North AfricaMarriott International currently has 30 hotels and over 10,000 rooms in its portfolio and with a robust pipeline in place, the company expects to grow its hotel portfolio by 60 percent by the end of 2023. Presently home to nine Marriott International brands, the company expects to introduce six new brands in North Africa – including St. Regis, W Hotels, Autograph Collection, Residence Inn by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments. The company anticipates the opening of four new properties across North Africa in 2019, including the debut of The Ritz-Carlton Rabat which will mark the company’s first luxury property in Morocco. Other planned openings include the launch of the St. Regis brand in Egypt with The St. Regis Cairo, the Four Points by Sheraton Setif in Algeria and the Marrakech Marriott Hotel in Morocco.

In West Africa, the company expects to grow its current footprint by 75 per cent with the addition of nine new hotels and more than 1,800 rooms by the end of 2023. Currently operating 12 properties across Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Guinea, Marriott International plans to enter Benin and Ivory Coast as a part of its development pipeline. In 2019, the company is on-track to open the Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene, its ninth property in Nigeria, and the Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport in Ghana.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

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Economy

The Future of Brand Communication in a Self-Actualized Economy of 2050

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Chumisa Ndlazi

Towards the end of the year last year, I was invited to be a panelist at the Global Work Tech Scenarios 2050 South Africa Conference. At first, I was nervous to share my thoughts as I was not sure how they would be received, and I was not so sure about how my expertise in the field of Marketing and Communications would fit in the context of the future of science and technology.  Quite often, the tendency is that we see science as a mutually exclusive subject that does not directly impact our daily lives – well at least that’s what I thought.

However, the more exposed I have been to this field,the more I realise how the different waves in science and technology have been shaping the cultural experience of society, for example, the way in which society communicates, shops and accesses information has changed because of the digital age. Attending this conference has further opened my eyes to this and as a result, has demanded that I think about the possibilities of the future and role of Marketing and Communications in this regard.

In preparation for the panel discussion, we were sent a document titled Future Work/Tech 2050 Global Scenarios. Using a future studies method, the case study thoroughly highlights potential scenarios that could emanate by 2050 as a result of global technological advancements. Additionally, the case study examines the effect these advancements will have on politics, economics and culture. Out of the three scenarios presented to us, the third one titled: If humans were free – the self-actualization economy resonated with me the most.

According to this particular future study, new technologies in the form of artificial intelligence will change the face of the job market as we know it today. By 2050, approximately 4-billion people will gravitate towards self-employment. This means, although new technologies might not necessarily support formal employment but, they may provide a conducive environment for alternative forms of employment to thrive. With this kind of economic shift, the study predicts that the percentage of people employed by corporations will decrease and there will be an increase in the number of self-employed individuals. The study also suggests that individual power will begin to increase relative to government and corporate power.

This economic shift which is a result of a technological revolution will also have a direct impact on global culture. Due to increased individual power, society will begin to embrace the concept of a self-actualized economy.  Essentially, what this means is, individuals will begin to decide for themselves how to use their time, ponder on issues concerning their life purpose and find ways to express their purpose through work. As a result, a culture of self-awareness, creativity and purpose will culminate and this could also change the way in which people relate to brands. In a society where individuals are self-aware and are driven by the need to express self, one has to ask themselves how will this affect the way corporates market and communicate their brand to the public.

Corporate for many years has benefited from the existence of public relations, marketing and communications. This is because this field of study specialises in examining the behaviour of consumers or a particular target audience, understanding their needs and wants then, using various methods to mass communicate a particular service or product to a group of people for the purpose of profit.

In fact, Edward Bernays who is considered the “father of public relations” and known as nephew of Sigmund Freud,based the foundation of public relations on studying crowd psychology – which is a broad study of how an individual’s behaviour is influenced in a large crowd. Over the years, this approach has worked like a charm because the economic system of capitalism bred a societal culture of competitiveness, consumerism and the need for attaining material success in order to gain social acceptance. Therefore, corporate through public relations, marketing and communications, have been able to win over the loyalty of various publics by tapping into this.

However, if future studies are predicting a self-actualized economy by 2050, which will have us witness a decrease in corporate power and an increase in individual power. If the order of the day in society will be about exploring personal creativity, self-awareness and pursuing purpose as opposed to seeking material success for gaining social acceptance, it may mean that the field of marketing and communications may have to start finding a different approach to communicating brands to the public.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

I therefore suspect that as opposed to a mass communication approach which groups people according to what they have – for example, using the living standard measuring (LSM) method to understand a particular target audience, a more personalised approach may have to be adopted. This means, brands may have to invest more time in scanning the environment of their target market, taking the time to understand what affects them, what they want, what they need, their deepest desires and fears. The changing consumer market will dictate that brands have the ability to engage as an active member of the community, and skillfully interpret their belief and value systems, and not just their physiological needs.

Previously, brands got away with simply marketing and communicating a product to push it in the market. This approach worked for years because the consumerist culture of that time was more about, what can a particular product or service do for me.  However, this approach to a consumer of today seems detached. With the digital age which allows us to access information easily, there already has been a gradual increase in consumers who are more aware and have taken interest in the politics that govern how a brand operates. As a result, consumers confidently reject a brand that does not represent their beliefs or value system. This kind of consumer, unapologetic and self-aware is predicted to increase exponentially by 2050. For the brands that refuse to observe and listen, they will remain detached from the reality of their target audience and will find themselves preaching to the unconverted.

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Communications Practitioner
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Amref Health Africa Ranked Among Top 10 Best Employers In Africa

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NAIROBI, August 162019: Amref Health Africa, the largest Africa-based international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has emerged position 9 in the annual Employer of Choice Survey 2019, the largest of its kind in Africa.

The survey, conducted by ‘The Global Career Company’ based in the United Kingdom gave Africans an opportunity to vote – for the first time – for their favourite international brands, and their favourite African brands.

Those surveyed expressed their interest in working at Amref Health Africa on the basis that the employees are able to make a real difference in the society through the organisation.

‘‘We are excited about this selection and recognition. As Amref, we are dedicated to bringing lasting health change in African communities, and to achieve this goal, our employees are integral to us achieving and executing our mandate. We therefore provide a good working environment that motivates them to grow and contribute to our vision,’’ said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Amref Health Africa.

Also Read Royal visit: Queen Matilde of Belgium wades into age old Maasai culture early marriages and FGM

In this year’s Survey which sought to shed light on which employers are attracting talent across Africa and why, a total of 29,216 African Professionals chose the brand they most want to work for in Africa, with all 54 countries represented, and over 1,100 brands reviewed.

With presence in over 35 African countries, Amref Health Africa’s vision is to create lasting health change in African Communities by increasing sustainable health access to communities in Africa through solutions in human resources for health, health services delivery and investments in health.

Through its projects, Amref is committed to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Africa through better health, bridge gaps between communities, health systems and governments, be a leading force for advocacy for health system reforms in Africa and be a leader in the NGO community, developing and documenting best practices and training programmes.

For full rankings: https://www.globalcareercompany.com/employer-of-choice

About Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa Ranked among Top 10 Best Employers in Africa

Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa based international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) currently running programs in over 35 countries in Africa with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa. Amref Health Africa also incorporates programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries; Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University.

Amref Health Africa

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Idia Aisien Unveiled As Official Brand Ambassador For BNatural Spa

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Award-winning TV Host, News Anchor, and Philanthropist, Idia Aisien, is certainly living her best life at the moment – it’s been such an amazing year for her.

Just a few months ago, she bagged an endorsement deal with the number 1 brand in the global luxury cosmetics market, Lancome. And now, she has just been unveiled as official brand ambassador for BNatural Spa, a
leading luxury medical spa in Nigeria, specializing in innovative medical services and beauty treatments administered by US board certified aestheticians.

Speaking about this milestone, Idia says:

“I’m super excited for this new journey with the BNatural Spa family, as their reputation for innovation and quality service delivery in the industry is unparalleled. I can’t wait to share all the groundbreaking activities we have in store with the world.”

ABOUT bnatural

We are proud to be Nigeria’s first medical spa and laser centre, with US board  certified medical staff and medical grade products. At bnatural, we offer the most advanced cosmetics laser and skin treatments available. We combine the most advanced and approved skincare technology, technical medical expertise with ongoing skincare management. The outcome is a customized treatment program specific to each client’s need delivering outstanding results.

Also Read Black Space App CEO, April Jefferson on entrepreneurship and connecting black travelers to their culture

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