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Urban Farming to Tackle Global Food Crisis

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

The world’s population is becoming more urban by the day. By 2030, some five billion people around the world will live in cities. This year is the tipping point: urban dwellers (3.3 billion people) now outnumber rural residents for the first time (UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2007 Report). 

But with rising food prices across the globe, many city-dwellers are experiencing hunger and real hardship. On international commodity markets, food prices have gone up 54 percent over the last year, with cereal prices soaring 92 percent (FAO – World Food Situation). While living in an urban environment means living cheek-by-jowl with other people, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to grow food and supplement urban dwellers’ tight budgets and boost diets.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for food production to increase 50 percent by 2030 just to meet rising demand – and right now there are 862 million people undernourished (FAO). But one solution, urban farming, can make a huge difference, as the Caribbean island of Cuba has shown.

Today, Cuba imports about 50 percent of its minimum fuel and food requirements – a cost that reached US $1.6 billion last year for food. (Reuters). The island has been buffeted by one food crisis after another in the past two decades, first by the collapse of its aid from the Soviet Union, and then by a fuel crisis. But now, urban farming in Cuba provides most of the country’s vegetables, thanks to urban gardens that have sprung up on abandoned land in the country’s cities and towns. And the food is pesticide-free: 70 percent of the vegetables and herbs on the island are organic (http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/Living/ whatisorganic.html).

These urban farms mean fresh food is just a short walk away from the people who eat it. And in a world of rising fuel prices, Cuba has reduced the use of fossil fuels in the production and transportation of food.

The urban farms have created 350,000 jobs that pay better than most government jobs. It has also improved Cuban’s health: many have moved from diets dominated by rice and beans and imported canned goods from Eastern Europe, to fresh vegetables and fruits.

While Cubans receive at least a basic state ration of rice, beans and cooking oil, the rations do not include fresh fruit and vegetables. After the withdrawal of Soviet subsidies, the average Cuban’s daily calorie intake fell sharply. Between 1989 and 1993, daily calorie intake dropped from 3,004 to 2,323 (UN). But with the growth of urban farms, this has moved up to 3,547 calories a day – even higher than the amount recommended for Americans by the US government.

The secret to this success has been the rise of entrepreneurs like Miladis Bouza, a 48-year-old former research biologist who had to abandon a comfortable middle class life after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her government salary dropped to US $3 a month. Unable to make ends meet and provide food for her family, she quit her job.

The Cuban government allowed people to turn unused urban land into mini farms. The cities have many vacant lots because the state owns most land and there isn’t competition from private developers, as in many other countries. Unusually for communist Cuba, 80 percent of the profits are kept by the farmers. This can be an average wage of US $71 per month.

“Those salaries are higher than doctors, than lawyers,” Roberto Perez, an agronomist who runs the country’s first urban farm, told The Associated Press. “The more they produce, the more they make. That’s fundamental to get high productivity.”

Miladis grabbed this opportunity to farm a half-acre plot near her home in Havana. Along with her husband, she grows tomatoes, sweet potatoes and spinach, and sells the vegetables at a stall on nearby busy street. This has enabled her monthly income to rise to between US $100 per month and US $250 per month, far more than the average government salary of US $19 per month.

Cuba was inspired by greenbelt farms in Shanghai (http://en.shac.gov.cn/hjgl/jqgk/t20030805_82028.htm): but Cuba has gone even further to make urban farming a key part of the national food supply.

All this urban farming is also all-natural farming. Farms have had to turn to natural compost as fertilizer, and natural pesticides like strong-smelling celery to ward off insects.

So-called organoponicos (http://academicos.cualtos.udg.mx/Pecuarios/ PagWebEP/Lecturas/ORGANOPONICOS.htm ) gather together a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs, as well as ornamental plants. Customers are offered mangos, plantains, basil, parsley, lettuce, garlic, celery, scallions, collard greens, black beans, watermelon, tomatoes, malanga, spinach and sweet potatoes.

“Nobody used to eat vegetables,” said David Leon, 50, buying two pounds of Swiss chard at a Havana organoponico. “People’s nutrition has improved a lot. It’s a lot healthier. And it tastes good.”

Published: June 2008

Resources

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Global South Experiencing Transportation Revolution

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Away from the news headlines, a quiet revolution has been taking place in public transportation across the global South. As cities have expanded and grown, they have also been putting in place public transport systems to help people get around and get to work.

One proven, efficient way to move large numbers of people quickly through dense urban areas is to use underground subway or metro systems. Subway systems have a profound effect on local economies and wealth creation. They allow people to quickly cover distances that may once have meant hours stuck in traffic. Once people can move around a city quickly and over large distances, they can change how they work, shop, enjoy themselves. It allows people living in poor outlying neighbourhoods to travel to jobs in the city centre, improving their income prospects.

As many countries in the global South have enjoyed healthy growth rates despite the global economic crisis, and with the global financial system being flooded with stimulus funds to spur growth, the resources have become available to invest in expensive and long-term public transport solutions such as metro systems. Another factor is the scale of urbanization in the global South, which is driving governments to turn to new solutions that will help in avoiding the mistakes made in the past.

The world’s first urban underground railway system was built in 19th-century London, England. It was the product of a country that had been experiencing rapid, large-scale industrialization and urbanization unseen before in human history. Since then, the now 150-year-old London Underground (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modalpages/2625.aspx) has acted as the arteries coursing through the city’s economic body, criss-crossing the city and delivering millions of people to work and play every day. It is now impossible to imagine Britain’s economy functioning without this efficiency tool.

Now, as the global South engages in the greatest urbanization project in human history, more cities are turning to underground metro systems to keep people, and the economy, moving. Lessons have been learned from the first generation of global South cities, which expanded rapidly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Many became quickly clogged in traffic and cloaked in pollution, and saw economic opportunity and social mobility slowed down as a consequence.

Three of the biggest metro systems in the world are now in China – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (The Economist). Beijing (http://www.explorebj.com/metro/) has a metro system stretching 442 kilometres and is used every day by 5.97 million people. By 2020, Beijing is hoping to boast 1,000 kilometres of metro network in the city. In Shanghai (http://www.shmetro.com/EnglishPage/EnglishPage.jsp), the 423 kilometre metro system carries 5.16 million people every day, while Guangzhou (http://www.gzmtr.com/en/) carries 4.49 million people a day.

From the 1960s, the building of metros increased around the world. More than 190 cities now have metro systems. In China, Suzhou (http://www.livingsu.com/guide_detail.asp?id=7), Kunming (http://www.urbanrail.net/as/cn/kunming/kunming.htm) and Hangzhou (http://www.urbanrail.net/as/cn/hang/hangzhou.htm) opened metro systems in 2012. Elsewhere in the global South, Lima in Peru and Algiers (http://www.metroalger-dz.com/) in Algeria recently acquired new metro systems. This means Africa now has two cities with metro systems – Algiers and Cairo in Egypt.

In India, Bangalore opened a metro system two years ago and Mumbai is close to finishing its metro. Bhopal and Jaipur also plan to build metros. In Brazil, the metros in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are being expanded and new systems are being built in Salvador and Cuiaba. In the Gulf states of the Middle East, Dubai (http://dubaimetro.eu/) opened a system in 2009 and Mecca (http://meccametro.com/) in Saudi Arabia in 2010. Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh and Kuwait City are also working on building metro systems.

Paraguay’s capital, Asuncion, is working on one, as is Kathmandu in Nepal. Jakarta in Indonesia has attempted to build an underground metro several times and is now trying to getting one built.

But how are many of these countries funding this splurge on metro systems? According to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants (rolandberger.co.uk), global government stimulus programmes to fight the current financial crisis have increased available funding for rail systems. There are also increased resources available for transport solutions that avoid the high pollution rates that come with automobiles.

According to Mass Transit Magazine, China is using domestic consumption and increasing urbanization to spur economic growth and is hoping to increase investment in metro systems in the country by 10 per cent per year.

The target is to spend 280 billion yuan to 290 billion yuan (US $44.91 to US $46.51 billion) on metro systems in 2013, up from 260 billion yuan in 2012.

The knock-on economic boost will be felt by domestic businesses as trains and train systems are purchased. It is estimated sales of Chinese-made trains will go from 10.9 billion yuan in 2012 to 28 billion yuan by 2017.

All this new building will expand the country’s metro lines by 846 kilometres in 24 cities.

Ten Chinese cities are expecting soon to receive permission to begin work on building new metro systems: Xian, Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Kunming, Tsingdao, Wuxi and Dongguan.

In 2013, 12 Chinese cities will complete new metro systems including Harbin, Changsha, Ningbo and Zhengzhou.

If this trend continues and expands, then the future cities of the global South could be modern, urban places that raise living standards, while avoiding damaging human health with environmental pollution and over-crowding and social exclusion.

Published: February 2013

Resources

1) Life Guangzhou: Guangzhou Awarded World’s Best Metro System. Website: http://tinyurl.com/ajdcsur

2) Inhabitat: Parisian Building Taps Metro System as a Heat Source.
Website: http://inhabitat.com/body-heat-from-paris-metro-to-heat-residential-building/

3) Digital Construction: Top Ten Metro Systems: Design and efficiency in the world of mass transit. Website:http://www.constructiondigital.com/top_ten/top-10-business/top-ten-metro-systems

4) Six of the world’s best metro systems – in pictures: A look at six metro systems around the world, from the archaeological treasures on display in Athens to the spectacular halls of Moscow’s underground system via continental Europe’s oldest network. Website:http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/gallery/2013/jan/09/six-worlds-best-metro-systems

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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2011 Trends for the South

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

The world has been through a dramatic and fascinating period since the global economic crisis erupted in 2008. While the wealthy, developed nations of the North have been pitched into one crisis after another, the countries of the global South (many of whom are well accustomed to crises) have been part of a powerful new economic phenomenon: the rapid growth of South-South trade, investment and exchange. Its effects include stronger ties between Asia and South America and between China and Africa.

South-South trade is the great economic success story of the past decade. World Trade Organization (WTO) (www.wto.org) figures show South-South trade grew to 16.4 percent of the US $14 trillion in total world exports in 2007, from 11.5 percent in 2000. While the global economic crisis has slowed trade down, the overall trend for South-South trade and connections seems firmly established.

South-South trade made up 20 percent of global exports by 2010, and foreign direct investment to developing economies rose by 10 percent in 2010 due to a rapid economic recovery and increasing South-South flows.

Trade between China and Africa has surged during the decade since China joined the WTO in 2001, from around US $10 billion in 2000 to US $73.3 billion in 2007, a year-on-year increase of 32.2 percent. By 2008, it had soared by 44.1 percent to reach a record high of US $106.84 billion, according to Zhang Yongpeng of the Institute for West Asian and African Studies (IWAAS).

The surge is remarkable and recent. For example, according to accountants KPMG, between 2001 and 2009 China invested just US $215 million in Brazil. But in 2010, China invested US $20 billion in energy and chemical companies in Argentina and Brazil. And Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, told the Financial Times that “seven percent of Colombian gasoline has been replaced by domestic ethanol, produced with green Indian technology – while Indian companies, including Infosys and Tata, now have 17,000 employees in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

This jump in investment has also had its downside: coming fast and furious as investment cash chases better investment profits in the global South, it has pushed up inflation and commodity prices and spawned property speculation bubbles. This, as can be seen across North Africa and the Middle East, can lead to political and social instability.

A review of the big trends bubbling under the surface in 2011 shows how important South-South exchange will be in alleviating poverty and improving lives in the run-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). It also shows up the dangers inherent in this new environment – rising inflation without economic growth can crush the poor. A focus on innovation and new thinking will be necessary to get through this year and beyond.

Some of the top trends that will have a big impact in 2011 are:

– Inflation: In 2011 it looks like we will hear a lot about inflation. As the global economy tries to stabilize and return to growth, there will be inflation surges for a wide variety of reasons. People will need strategies and new techniques to make sure they can afford the necessities of life. This will be critical if development gains from the past decade are not to be lost.

– Super cycle: Some are putting forward the theory we are entering a ‘super cycle’ (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-23/super-cycle-leaves-no-economy-behind-as-davos-shifts-to-growth-from-crisis.html) created by better connectivity, global travel and mobility and the ease of moving around investment to create businesses and jobs. The super cycle theory claims that this will spark the greatest period of human development in history – raising all national economies – as more and more people benefit from rising living standards and opportunities.

– Switch to South-South trade: With the trend of increasing South-South trade now firmly established, there is a greater awareness now of the power of sharing ideas across the South. One example of this idea-sharing is the annual Global South-South Development Expo (http://www.southsouthexpo.org/) run by UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation Unit (http://ssc.undp.org/).

– New technologies: The spread of new technologies around the world will continue and bring many changes. Africa is seeing increasing access to high-speed Internet as new undersea cables are laid around the continent. Mobile phones will continue to be a critical tool for many to stay in touch and boost incomes.

– MDGs on horizon in 2015: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 2015 is just four years away. This will face the headwinds of the global economic crisis and urgent attention will be needed to make sure gains are not lost as 2015 approaches. The role played by South-South trade will be a critical partner in aiding goal achievements.

– Cities: A surge to the urban was pronounced by 2007 and we are now living in a majority urban world. Innovation and sharing experiences and knowledge will play a key role in ensuring this is not a disaster. A recent book, Arrival City by Canadian journalist Doug Saunders, detailed this urban surge occurring across the global South, the largest movement of people to cities and urban and semi-urban areas in human history. It follows the pattern that was seen in Europe in the 19th century, as economies change and people seek the new opportunities promised by cities, or find rural economies unsustainable.

– The China model of development: The big talking point will be China’s economic model for eradicating poverty on a mass scale. A new book by Dambisa Moyo, How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices Ahead, investigates the mistakes made in developed, Western nations and what can be learned from the experiences in the global South.

– Food crisis: At the beginning of February, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) issued a warning about the risk of a new global food crisis after its food price index reached a record high in January 2011. The FAO also issued an alert about severe drought in China, the world’s largest wheat producer. Flooding in Brazil and Australia have also devastated crops, much of which are exported to countries across the South. There is also risk to crops from flooding in southern Africa. Wheat, corn and soybean prices are rising, and prices reached a peak just as they did in 2008 (FAO).

Even developed countries normally used to food surpluses are at risk. In the US, corn reserves are at a 15 year low (US Department of Agriculture), and the price of corn has doubled in past six months.

A billion people go to bed hungry every night; someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds – 75 percent are children under five, according to the World Food Programme (http://www.wfp.org/1billion).

Published: 2011

Resources
1) Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture: A data mix tracking global food prices and situation reports. Website: http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/en/
2) World Bank Food Crisis blog: Website: http://www.worldbank.org/foodcrisis/
3) Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa: “Building capacity to help Africa trade better”: tralac’s mission is to build trade law capacity in southern Africa so that these countries can participate effectively in the global economy; to negotiate trade agreements that will support their development objectives, and so that they can implement the agreements to ensure that they realise the potential benefits of international trade. Website: http://www.tralac.org/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_cause&cause_id=1694
4) Future Forum world videos: Compelling animated videos exploring the hard choices of an urbanizing world and the need to promote sustainable development and environmental harmony. Website: http://www.youtube.com/user/forumforthefuture96

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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African Hotel Boom Bringing in New Investment and Creating Jobs

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Africa is experiencing a boom not seen for decades. The IMF forecasts economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa of 6 per cent in 2014, compared to global growth of 3.6 per cent.

And this boom is getting an additional jolt of support from the world’s multinational hotel chains. January 2014 saw Africa’s largest hotel chain bought by global giant Marriott (marriott.com). For decades major global multinationals shied away from Africa, but today they are battling to get a place in Africa’s fast-growing economies and to serve the growing middle classes.

Marriott is leading the way by investing US $1.5 billion in 25 new hotels equalling 5,000 rooms. To boost capacity further, Marriott is taking over South Africa’s Protea group (proteahotels.com) and its 116 African hotels.

“We have 25 Marriott brand hotels under construction in seven countries in Africa that will come on stream over the next four years,” Alex Kyriakidis, the chain’s president for the Middle East and Africa, told Bloomberg (bloomberg.com).

The new hotels “are going to bring us into Benin, Gabon, Ghana, Ethiopia and Mauritius. With our existing hotels plus those in the pipeline and those Protea operates today, we will be in 16 countries in Africa by 2017.”

Bloomberg calls what Africa is experiencing the “fastest pace of hotel development in the world”.
“Our mission here is to grow, grow, grow,” according to Kyriakidis.

Meanwhile, a further boost is coming from the US $5 billion Angolan sovereign wealth fund, Fundo Soberano de Angola (fundosoberano.ao/language/en/). It will be investing in hotels and commercial infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Bloomberg. This could include 50 sub-Saharan African hotels in the next three years.

“We believe there’s a lot of investment interest in Africa,” said Chairman Jose Filomeno dos Santos. “It has a lot of mineral potential, almost a commodity hub. We believe this interest will remain there for the coming years.”

Little thought is given to the role hotels play in development, yet they are a critical development tool for any country wishing to move up the economic ladder. As the quality of hotels improves, they tend to become key gathering and meeting places. Conferences and seminars can act as catalysts for change, attracting people from around the world. When quality hotels are in place, then the top-drawer global conferences will come to town, in turn bringing new tourist income for local businesses.

Anyone who has stayed in a hotel in Africa knows that standards are variable: the pool with dirty water, the power cuts, the food hygiene standards that might not match what people are used to at home. This is what international hotel chains can change. Not only do they demand the highest standards in their own establishments, they also push up standards at local competitors, as all of them battle for the attention of visitors.

Africa has been overlooked by the large global hotel chains and brands since the end of the colonial period in the 1960s and 70s. Africa was considered too poor, too chaotic, too dangerous and too much hard work for it to be worth the effort.

But now the tune has changed. With Africa’s population over a billion, and many of the continent’s economies experiencing rapid growth while also urbanizing, conditions are fortuitous for the hotel trade.

The situation has changed in the last decade, for a variety of reasons: debt relief, a rise in commodity prices, expanding trade and investment with China and the global South, and a growing middle class — all slowing the growth of poverty. Africa is still notorious for under-investment in infrastructure and has a long way to go to catch up to the fast-moving economies of Asia. But greater optimism is leading to greater real investment. And the world’s large hotel brands are the latest to join in the rush to Africa.

Large chains including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and Kempinski hope to open 300 new hotels in Africa over the next five years. The number of hotel beds is set to increase by 30 per cent by 2018.

Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania (http://www.fourseasons.com/serengeti/) is the first investment in Africa by the Canadian brand. Four Seasons is known for its luxury, upmarket city hotels and has kept with this tradition by building the largest and most luxurious safari lodge ever built in Africa.

This is having a knock-on effect on African hotel operators. The surge in investment is giving these local operators the right incentives to create African brands and to raise their game.

Nairobi in Kenya has become something of a test market for high-end boutique hotels. Already a city benefiting from its status as an international development hub, home to many agencies including the UN Environment Programme’s sprawling and verdant headquarters (unep.org), it has also become a corporate headquarters for Africa and has a large U.S. presence (nairobi.usembassy.gov). This means lots of people coming to the city to do business and attend events, creating a market for better quality accommodation.

The Kenyan-owned, 156-room Sankara Nairobi Hotel (sankara.com) boasts of having the best wine list in Africa and claims to be a five-star hotel. It also capitalizes on being close to the international airport and the UN’s Nairobi headquarters.

“There’s an appetite for something local that’s different and, for the first time, there’s the confidence and funding to bankroll new developments,” said Sankara Hotel Group director Rohan Patel to Wallpaper Magazine. “Africans don’t want a theme-park African hotel, with prints of ‘the big five’ on the wall. That’s condescending. Nor do they want a New York-style hotel. They’ve probably been to New York. They want modern, connected Africa.”

Elsewhere in Nairobi, the Kenyan-owned Tribe Hotel (tribe-hotel.com) is looking to expand to meet growing market demand.

“The market for new, authentic, yet modern African hotels is growing,” manager Michael Flint, who previously ran New York’s Ritz-Carlton, told Wallpaper.

“We’ve been so successful here we are building a new 187-room hotel in Nairobi. We’ve taken over a boutique hotel called Westhouse (westhouse.co.ke). And we’re looking to expand further, with properties at the airport and on the coast. Who knows what will be next? Tribe will be a mini empire.”

In Rwanda’s capital Kigali, the Rwanda Marriott has ambitious plans. Rwanda was ripped apart by ethnic genocide in the 1990s that killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide). Now, the country’s economy is booming and its hotels are getting an upgrade.

The Akilah Institute for Women (akilahinstitute.org) in Kigali has been helping in training women for the hotel sector. They sent trainees to Dubai and Doha to learn how to do hotel service the Marriott way.

Starwood (starwoodhotels.com), a competitor to Marriott, is hoping to grow its African hotel investment by 30 per cent as well. It will be done through the Sheraton, Aloft, Le Meridien, St Regis and Four Points brands. The first St Regis has already opened in Mauritius.

Neil George, Starwood’s head of African development, believes “Africa is the final frontier. It’s adventurous.

“I would rather arrive in Kinshasa and work out how to do a hotel there than do it in Frankfurt,” he told Wallpaper.

The Hyatt (hyatt.com) brand is now running the Hyatt Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam (http://daressalaam.kilimanjaro.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html), Tanzania. Peter Norman, Hyatt’s African head, is working on opening a Park Hyatt in Zanzibar (http://zanzibar.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html) and another Hyatt Regency (http://investors.hyatt.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=228969&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1863203&highlight=) will open in Arusha and a further 140-room Hyatt in Senegal (http://investors.hyatt.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=228969&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1863204&highlight=).

The 200-room Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi (http://www.kempinski.com/en/nairobi/hotel-villa-rosa/welcome/), boasting an outdoor heated pool, and the Olare Mara Kempinski (http://www.kempinski.com/en/masai-mara/olare-mara/welcome/) luxury camp in the Maasai Mara will also be joined by projects in Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.

Kempinski also has properties in Chad and the Congo, has bought the Hotel des Mille Collines (https://www.millecollines.net/) in Kigali and aims to operate 20 hotels across sub-Saharan Africa.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson has the Mahali Mzuri in the Maasai Mara and it is seen as a stylish role model for other hotels. The local landowners and herdsmen have been included in the business, benefiting from the hotel and helping to preserve the local ecosystem.

EasyHotel (http://www.easyhotel.com/news/2011/africa0.html), a low budget hotelier, is also rapidly expanding across southern Africa.

Published: May 2014

Resources

1) Catererglobal.com: Catererglobal.com offers a unique service that provides an easy-to-use, specific recruitment website for vacancies in the world’s best hotels and cruise ships. Website: http://www.catererglobal.com/jobs/africa/hotel/

2) South African hotel jobs: HotelJobs South Africa is an industry specific job website for the hotel, hospitality and catering industry. Website: http://www.hoteljobs.co.za/

3) Hotel Staff Africa: Many hotel jobs across Africa. Website: http://www.hotelstaff.co.za/

4) Hotel Career: Many hotel jobs for the Middle East and Africa. Website: http://www.hotelcareer.com/jobs/middle-east-africa

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022