Sub-Saharan Africa as a business investment
While real estate occupiers and investors have been accustomed to high growth rates above global averages, economic and political headwinds could signal change in 2017. “It is often in the diversity and complexity of a situation that the solution is to be found. Faced with potentially turbulent times, the journey will not be easy. But if the correct direction is charted, Africa will remain a continent of diverse opportunity,” says Malcolm Horne, group CEO of leading commercial property services company Broll Property Group.
“Sub-Saharan Africa will need to be able to deal with the dynamic of having its average growth rate equal to or less than the global average for the ﬁrst time since 2001.” From 2001 to 2008 Africa had a growth rate of 5.9%, dropping to 4.1% from 2009 to 2016. Since 2013 there has been an average year-onyear decline. Horne says that in the retail sector, many operators are adopting a wait-and-see attitude in countries aﬀ ected by the commodity price downturn. Technology is evolving in all sectors of the property market and role players should adapt. Some malls across the continent have implemented Wi-Fi and apps while online shopping is becoming popular. “Lower smartphone prices and data costs are driving the digital revolution in Africa,” says Horne.
“To create sustainable property investment and development opportunities across Africa, we need to collaborate, share experiences and knowledge and navigate the unique challenges the continent presents to investors and developers together.”
Words: Property Professional