This summary covers an investment by Azalai Hotels S.A. of Mali in Compagnie Hôtelière du Sahara SARL for its hotel MARHABA project in Mauritania. The investor has applied for a MIGA guarantee of €5.1 million ($5.5 million equivalent) for a period of up to 10 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
The project consists of the renovation and expansion of the existing 64-room hotel MARHABA in Nouakchott, Mauritania. It is expected that the hotel will become a four-star hotel meeting international standards that will include 137 rooms, five meeting rooms, and one conference room. The hotel is located in the central business district of Nouakchott in the Ksar neighborhood.
The project is Category B under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Potential risks associated with this project include increased air emissions, noise levels, traffic, spills, and workers’ health and safety resulting from construction activities; and risks related to life and fire safety, waste and wastewater management, and efficient management of energy and water during operation of the hotel. The client has prepared an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and an Environmental and Social Management Plan to address all project-related risks and impacts. The client has several years of experience in the hospitality industry and is expected to manage all environmental and social impacts adequately. The client will be required to follow an Environmental and Social Action Plan to address existing gaps in environmental, social, and health and safety performance and ensure compliance with MIGA’s Performance Standards.
To sustain its economic growth, Mauritania needs secure, comfortable, and centrally located hotels to meet the increasing demand from business travelers. Moreover, through this South-South investment, the project supports the development of a chain hotel that will cater to the growing demand for business travel in the West African region.
The expansion is expected to create 115 new jobs. Local businesses such as farmers, taxi drivers, bakers, and room and clothes designers will also benefit from the project through the creation of approximately 900 indirect jobs.
MIGA’s proposed support for the project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for Mauritania, which emphasizes the important of private sector investment under the pillar of growth and diversification. It is also aligned with MIGA’s strategy of promoting investment into countries eligible for concessional financing from the International Development Association.
The project would be underwritten through MIGA’s Small Investment Program.