365 hotels, up almost 30 per cent on the previous year, according to new figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey. The increase is largely down to strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa, which is up 42.1 per cent on 2015 and is significantly outstripping North Africa which achieved only a modest 7.5 per cent pipeline increase this year.

A major shake-up in the rankings by country saw Angola, never before listed among the top ten, push Egypt out of second place, due to a major deal there signed by AccorHotels. The W Hospitality Group survey is published ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, which is organised by Bench Events. The conference attracts all the major international hotel investors in Africa and is being held for the first time in Lomé on June 21st-22nd.

A second AHIF will also take place in Kigali, Rwanda on October 4th-6th.Trevor Ward, W Hospitality Group managing director, said: “The evidence from our survey is clear – investors remain confident about the future of the hospitality industry on the continent.“Even when pummelled daily by low commodity prices, exchange rate problems, political challenges and poor infrastructure, Africa remains resilient.”

The IMF forecast for economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is for an increase of four per cent this year and 4.7 per cent in 2017, up from 3.5 per cent in 2015. Overall this is down on the five to six per cent increase enjoyed over the past decade, but it’s still double or more the forecast for the world’s advanced economies, such as Europe, the USA and Japan.