Tourism, Retail and Property

IFC in Africa supports sectors that contribute for the foundation of sustainable growth and that provide affordable goods and services to consumers, create jobs, generate government revenue, and stimulate the growth of local small and medium enterprises. Tourism, retail, and property are some of these sectors.

IFC’s high-end hotel investments in Africa are creating an average of 1.5 to 3 jobs for each hotel room and have a major multiplier effect on local economies. Because they provide better quality service and facilities, four- and five-star hotels generally employ more people than other types of tourist accommodations and contribute more to tax revenues and foreign exchange earnings.

Africa’s growing population and rapid urbanization have created booming demand for housing and commercial property.  Through direct and indirect investments related to property development, IFC aims to help expand affordable housing and essential urban infrastructure, incorporating the latest green building standards and technology.


Examples of What We Do:


IFC supports tourism projects across the region, including Tourism Promotion Services, an organization of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development operating under the Serena Hotels brand. Over four decades, IFC has invested in Serena Hotels in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda (as well as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan). IFC also invested in the refurbishment and renovation of the historic Hotel des Milles Collines. The IFC-supported Radisson Dakar—Teylium in Senegal is boosting business and tourism and improving Dakar’s competitiveness as a domestic and regional commercial hub.


IFC and the National Housing Finance Corporation of South Africa provided investments of more than $63 million to International Housing Solutions’ IHS Fund II, which will support the development of affordable housing in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The commitments, which include $25 million from IFC, will help IHS, a global private equity investor, expand its footprint across Africa following the success of its first South African Workforce Housing Fund. The SA National Housing Finance Corporation is a development finance institution established by the South African government to fund and facilitate the development of affordable housing.

Retail Development

Supported by IFC, Garden City in Kenya will become the largest retail center in East Africa. Local and international retailers will gain a new and unique platform to address the needs of their customers in the fast-growing eastern suburbs of Nairobi. The Actis-sponsored development is being built on a 32-acre plot will include a shopping mall, residential units, and a recreational park.