From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone set for first Hilton Hotel as President turns the Sod at Cape Sierra
By Mohamed Kamara
Sep 19, 2011, 12:21

President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma last Friday September 16th 2011 turned the sod for the demolition and rebuilding of the country’s Cape Sierra Hotel. At an auspicious occasion in the capital city which was thronged with local and international dignitaries including a wide range of diplomats, President Koroma assured both Hilton Worldwide and IDEAS-UK of the fullest support of the Sierra Leone Government.


IDEAS-UK is the Sierra Leonean owned and managed company which won the bid to lease and develop the country's failed Cape Sierra Hotel along the beautiful Aberdeen beach. Hilton Worldwide in a bid to increase its presence in Africa, recently signed a management agreement with Cape Sierra Hotel Company Ltd to develop the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Sierra Leone.


President Koroma turned the sod last Friday for the start of complete demolition of Cape Sierra where a brand new Hilton Hotel of international standards will emerge


It will be known as the Hilton Hotel Cape Sierra Leone and according to Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of IDEAS-UK, this latest African Hilton hotel is expected to open in 2014.


Speaking over National television, Madam Aki-Sawyer spoke of the burning desire of their IDEAS company to not only improve upon Sierra Leone’s tourism attraction but to also act as an inspiration for many others around the world. She spoke of sleepless nights to ensure everything remained on target to meet the expected opening date in 2014.

In a Press Statement issued late last month, Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe and Africa, Hilton Worldwide said: “Hilton Worldwide has enjoyed a presence in Africa for more than 50 years and our commitment to the continent remains as solid as ever.  We have opened five hotels in Africa already this year and we’re confident Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra will prove to be an important addition to our growing portfolio.”


Dave Horton, global head for Hilton Hotels & Resorts said:”For generations Hilton has led the way into emerging markets. Our brand enjoys a pioneering reputation for successfully establishing hotels in new and diverse markets.   Today’s signing is a true reflection of this spirit and we look forward to bringing our first class facilities and service to Sierra Leone.”


Keith Aki-Sawyerr, director of Cape Sierra Hotel Co Ltd said: “As commercial interests in the country grow, there is a requirement for more top quality hotels to meet the needs of the growing numbers of overseas visitors.  Hilton Hotels & Resorts is the ideal partner to provide the standards and strong brand needed to ensure we develop the leading hotel in the city.”


The new property will be prominently located in Aberdeen, Freetown, overlooking the local coastline, which includes one of the largest natural harbours in the world.  The hotel will have 200 rooms, including 60 executive standard rooms and 20 suites and feature a business centre, health club, outdoor pool and five restaurants and bars.


Sierra Leone’s emerging market economy is experiencing year-on-year growth as investment in the minerals and energy sectors drives business confidence.


The signing of Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra is the second signing the company has made in Africa this month, following shortly after Hilton D’Njamena, Chad.  Hilton Worldwide currently has 34 hotels across the continent of Africa with another eight in the development pipeline. So far this year, Hilton Worldwide has opened eight hotels and signed 14 management agreements across the Middle East and Africa.

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