Travel and tourism bucks Africa’s growth trend

Published: February 1, 2017

Despite potent economic headwinds, Sub-Saharan Africa has attracted considerable investment in hotels over the past year.

In December, Marriott International opened its first hotel in West Africa, the Sheraton Grand in Conakry, Guinea. With 270 rooms, four restaurants and an infinity pool, it is a rare oasis of luxury in the city, whose iron ore-fueled economic growth spurt has sputtered over the past two years, thanks to a commodity price crash and the Ebola epidemic that ended a year ago, but still continues to cast a shadow over the whole region.

Faced with the fallout from two years of low commodity prices, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP growth will be the slowest for two decades, according to the International Monetary Fund. Several of the continent’s largest economies, and largest recipients of foreign investment, are struggling with currency shortages that have hit their ability to import basic goods. 

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