Hotel in Bissau privatized and acquired by Mali’s Azalai Hotels

8 January 2007

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 8 Jan – Hotel 24 de Setembro, the oldest hotel in Guinea Bissau, has been sold to Mali’s Azalai Hotels for around US$830,000 as part of the Guinean state’s privatization program.

The Guinea Bissau Economy minister, Issufo Sanhá, said that the privatization of state assets, including all hotel units, was part of a vast State “exit” program from economic activities, agreed with the World Bank.

According to the minister, the World Bank has encouraged the Guinean government to privatize by pledging to pay the 20 month back log of salaries for around 150 workers as well as paying compensation for those that are laid off by the new owners.

Azalai Hotels, which has hotels in Mali and Burkina-Faso, expects to continue employing only around half of the employees at 24 de Setembro, which building during the colonial period served as a base for Portuguese military officers.

Axalai Hotels promised, in its tender document, to invest 1.2 million CFA francs within 30 days on refurbishing 24 de Setembro and to reimburse the Guinean government with the 80 million francs it spent on refurbishing the hotel for the head of state summit of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP).

The 6th CPLP summit was held in Bissau last July and Hotel 24 de Setembro was used as accommodation for several delegations at the summit. (macauhub)