The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has a solid reputation and extensive experience working in tourism in East Africa through its subsidiary, the Tourism Promotion Services (TPS). TPS Eastern Africa is a listed company in Nairobi, Kenya that manages a regional portfolio of 23 hotels, resorts, lodges and camps in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
On January 9, 2007, TPS signed a renewable, 30-year lease agreement with the Government of Rwanda (GoR) to manage and operate the Kigali Serena Hotel (Kigali Serena) in Kigali (formerly the Inter-Continental Hotel) and the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Kivu Serena) in Gisenyi (formerly the Kivu Sun Hotel).
Situated in central Kigali, Kigali Serena is a 148-room, 5-star hotel located close to most of the government, embassy and development aid offices. The hotel is situated 10 kilometres from Kigali International Airport. Kivu Serena is a 66-room hotel located along Lake Kivu in Gisenyi, a Rwandan resort town in north western Rwanda, at approximately three hours driving time from Kigali.
Both the Kigali and Kivu Serena Hotels have added to Rwanda’s business and tourism infrastructure by offering quality accommodation facilities and business/conference services. The hotels have provided extensive training to employees and enhanced the overall service standards for the industry; increased foreign exchange and government revenue in the form of concession fees, income tax and value added tax, and strengthened linkages with local suppliers through continued purchases of produce and other on-going operating supplies, thus encouraging their growth and development.
Spending by international visitors has also helped support a wide range of local economic activities, including handicrafts and souvenirs, restaurants, transportation, tours, entertainment, sports and leisure activity, etc.; and encouraged increased tourism and business travel, and as a result, helped sustain employment and create additional direct and indirect jobs.