REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Africa is the continent with the most growth opportunities at present, as there has been economic stagnation in much of the developed world since the credit crunch in 2007 and declining population growth rates in the same parts of the world.
It is predicted that Africa will have a population of 4 billion, which will be 40% of the world’s population, by the turn of the century. The bulk of these people will live in cities, some of which will more than double in size. The demand for all types of real estate development will create great opportunities for far-sighted and brave investors.
More than half the 20 fastest growing economies in the world are expected to be in Sub-Saharan Africa in the next five to ten years.
Mobile telephones have resulted in a spectacular increase in communication and funds transfer across Africa. With young populations eager to enjoy the technologies and goods of the West and Asia, Africa is where the greatest demand for goods and services will be until at least the turn of the century.
China started investing in Africa in infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports and harbours years ago which has helped the transporting of goods and people becoming available more widely.
South African retail companies such as Shoprite and Pick ‘n Pay have expanded into Sub-Saharan African countries and modern shopping malls are being built for the first time in many African countries. “A grade” office blocks and hotels are also starting to be developed all over the region by commercial property funds.
Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Mocambique, Angola and Zambia are all countries with a great need for development of commercial, retail and residential real estate.
Africa has challenges as regards shortages of skills, local government capacity and infrastructure including electricity, but those investors who are able to be brave, patient, innovative and resourceful, should see handsome returns on investments.
Bowman Gilfillan with offices in and relationships with law firms around the Sub-Saharan region, is ideally placed to provide legal services to investors wishing to make a positive difference in Africa which will also bring them substantial profits in the long term.
Bobby Bertrand, Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group