The social footprint of the Azalaï Hôtels group.


As a West African pioneer in the hotel industry, Azalaï Hôtels has a greater impact on local communities.

“We can’t neglect our footprint on the community”, Mossadeck Bally is convinced. He is the founder of the Azalaï hotel chain. Covering a large part of the West African capitals, the group’s ambition is to extend its presence in the sub-region. From Bamako, where it owns four hotels, the Azalaï brand has flourished in Benin, Burkina-Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. Guinea Conakry, Niger and Cameroon will follow shortly. For the West African hotel industry pioneer, social responsibility remains “a very important element for us”.
As evidence of this, in the age of climate change, the group is working to reduce its carbon footprint. Mossadeck Bally confirms that “we have recruited an engineer from Mali whose mission is to make our hotels green”. In concrete terms, the Azalaï hotels will gradually leave the thermal network to be powered by green energy. Working to fully earn his title of corporate citizen, the head of the company reassures us that waste treatment is the other aspect of his actions to protect nature.
Wastewater is treated in this way. “Except for Côte d’Ivoire, where the public service provides this service, we have invested more than 150,000 euros to acquire a wastewater treatment plant in each hotel”, says the CEO. The lights are also equipped with a presence detector system, so as not to waste energy. “We’re working towards carbon neutrality,” he says optimistically. Health safety and hygiene are not forgotten either.

Contributing to the local ecosystem

“We can’t neglect our footprint on the community”, Mossadeck Bally is convinced.

In the six countries where it is already present, the hotel chain is making its contribution to national and local taxation. At the state level, the payment of taxes contributes to development. As for tourism taxes and business licence fees, they contribute to decentralisation and the empowerment of local authorities. But it’s at the social level that he lets his emotions boil over. “I left the world of trade for the hotel industry because I wanted to make an impact. We have created over 1,000 direct jobs and between 2,000 and 3,000 indirect ones. This is his greatest source of satisfaction.
He explains. “The extractive industries generate a lot of money without creating more jobs in the communities. However, his group’s added value is demonstrated by the service it provides to the surrounding communities. “We create jobs in the local communities, through direct recruitment or the provision of local products in our catering”. A case in point is his anecdote about a lady selling fruit in the street in Bamako. “She made an annual turnover of 2 to 3 million CFA francs with us, and more than 100 million in total in our hotels during all that time”.
Local small and medium-sized businesses are benefiting from the hotel’s presence in their environment. “The local ecosystem is also evolving thanks to us,” he says with satisfaction. Mossadeck Bally is also pleased to see his former employees saving up to pursue higher education and climb the social ladder.
It is with the same logic that he invests in training, one of the weaknesses of his sector in Africa. “Our countries say that our industry is a priority. It has added value. But governments are not investing in training. To this end, in Bamako in Mali and Loumbila in Burkina-Faso, the group has launched a school to make up for this shortfall.
Looking in the rear-view mirror of his life, he draws out a powerful message. “I never stop telling young people that they can help their dreams come true. I am proof of that as a pioneer in the hotel industry in West Africa. After that, other groups followed us”.
His achievement is proof that “Africans are capable of creating a hotel chain”, contrary to the comments he received to the contrary. He has been able to transcend the constraints of the sector, which are of three kinds: land, human resources and financing. Today, he is at the head of “a structured group with a dream and a vision”, he says with a smile.
Since 2015, the Group’s foundation has been strengthening its social responsibility. Its local roots are spread over four areas: social inclusion, humanitarian aid, environmental protection and entrepreneurship. Projects in the fields of health, culture and support for job creation give concrete form to this policy. Mossadeck Bally’s determination is paving the way for a positive impact on the environment and the community.
Alain Metodjo

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