Serena’s success in Rwanda is also Rwanda’s success


(Posted 23rd July 2015)

I was most fortunate to spend 15 minutes with His Excellency President Kagame during our negotiations for the lease of Kigali Serena Hotel. My respect and admiration for President Kagame is at the highest level. His vision for Rwanda is amazing and his decisions are based on "What is best for Rwanda and it’s people". Our negotiations with RDB, Prime Holdings (John Mirenge) and the Cabinet team were totally transparent and based on good commercial sense. H.E. President Kagame would have accepted no less!’ did Serena Hotels’ CEO Mahmud Janmohamed comment on a recent article published in Rwanda’s leading daily newspaper, the ‘New Times’.

In the article were several significant accomplishments of Serena Hotels in Rwanda outlined, where East Africa’s hospitality market leader operates two properties, the 5 star Kigali Serena Hotel and the 4 star Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Gisenyi.

Said the article, which focused on both RwandAir and Serena Hotels as two major success stories in Rwanda:

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The study found that Serena Hotel had paid the Government close to US$16 million in a period of five years, in concession fees, VAT, employee income tax, social security, corporate tax and district tax.

Although the hotel is managed by Kenyan investors, the study found that there was only a handful of expatriate staff and 89 per cent of the wages and salaries were paid to local Rwandans who spent 70 per cent of their take-home pay on food, housing and education.

The study also found that Serena Hotel had invested in cultivating local supplier networks with indigenous small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in the process promoting private sector development in Rwanda.

For instance, local sourcing of fresh fruit and vegetables alone by Kigali Serena Hotel, the study found, had created some 177 jobs.

The success of Kigali Serena Hotel has since inspired a number of investments from the private sector which has boosted the performance of Rwanda’s service sector.

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Working hand in hand with the public sector, not just in Rwanda but also in Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and of course Kenya, has Serena Hotels managed over the years to add value to the economies in the countries where they operate besides creating hundreds of new jobs through new ventures.