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.
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.