Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Where to invest in Africa

Durban is first on the list, but Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, may deliver sound returns.

While the economic turbulence of the past few years has not passed Africa by, several countries are buoyed by dynamic developments, which create interesting opportunities for would-be investors. 

This is a round-up of southern African cities that are currently attracting attention.

Leading the fray is South Africa’s third biggest city, Durban. The optimism sweeping the country in the wake of Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent appointment as president of the Republic bodes well for investors. Durban is better placed than other major cities to benefit due to the abundance of reasonably-priced vacant land. This, together with infrastructure like the Port of Durban (the largest in Africa), the Dube Trade Port, King Shaka International Airport and an extensive road network, makes for exciting opportunities, especially in commercial property investment hotspots like Springfield, Riverhorse Valley, Briardene, Morningside, Mount Edgecombe, Westville, Berea and Umhlanga.

Moving north, one should keep an eye on Harare. Zimbabwe is also emerging from a period of significant political change, and the positive impact on the economy has already had a ripple effect on the property sector. In Harare, this has manifested in an increase in demand for industrial, retail and commercial space and the CBD, Borrowdale and Avondale have been identified as likely growth spots, along with the new industrial area north of the city and decentralised, suburban office parks.

Namibia has established itself as one of the most robust emerging economies in the world. At the centre of this growth is Walvis Bay, widely regarded as the country’s industrial and logistical hub. This status positions the city’s commercial property sector for growth, with the areas around key infrastructure (like the city’s new container terminal and north port, the airport, the CBD and the Dunes Mall) expected to display solid performance.

While Nigeria ranks as Africa’s largest economy, performance of the city’s property sector is closely linked to that of the economy, which took a direct hit in recent years. That said, a full economic recovery is expected once the commodities market strengthens, and pundits predict that this will catalyse a property boom. Meanwhile, in Abuja, rapid population growth continues to drive strong demand for property, particularly in the residential sector. This has a knock on effect for office and retail space.

As Kenya’s trade hub, Mombasa is currently experiencing something of a growth spurt. This is matched by a flurry of infrastructure development, including the completion of a standard gauge railway between Nairobi and Mombasa, and the establishment of a Mombasa-Nairobi highway dualisation project, which will break ground this year. Both projects are expected to stimulate demand for retail and industrial property.

Daar Es Salaam is another destination worthy of consideration for property investors. The discovery of oil and gas has spurred the growth of Tanzania’s economy, with the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, in particular reflecting a positive trajectory. This, in turn, is driving demand for property in areas like the CBD, the Peninsula and the New Bagamoyo Road.

Marna van der Walt is the CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate.


To comment, you must be registered and logged in.


Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

In Tanzania pay all your taxes on time and then wait for the additional assessments. Trust me after the Tanzania Revenue Authority is done with you, you will have nothing left. Object and you will get nowhere. They don’t want foreigners there.

I agree the tax situation in Tanzania is horrendous and they will definitely not listen to reason. For that reason and the slow speed that customers pay in Tanzania I would not invest there. I might go there on Holiday especially to Mwanza on lake Victoria but I cannot recommend it for business.

Just do a forensic on how many companies have ‘lost their shirts’ in Nigeria and then proceed with caution. But if you really want the truth speak to a long time shareholder of Tiger Brands or MTN, just to understand the real Nigeria dynamic and how their irrational and selective corruption practices affect shareholder value.

Then do a forensic on how the hard currency allocation for repatriation works and you will notice that entities cannot repatriate capital as the political elite, the generals and the monarchs/chiefs are the first in the pecking order.

Good luck getting your money out of these places when you need to. They are not investor friendly.

You have better odds at a casino to win then getting you investment back out of some african countries.

These negative comments do not apply to well run companies that know what they are doing. SAB did very well in Africa, so well in fact that ABInbev was prepared to pay a premium for its African assets!

Selling beer across Africa is not rocket science – it’s a staple and the commies love the tax revenues to feed their various politbureax!

So is the tax revenue from mobile phones – but MTN didn’t comply with what was asked of them, when other mobile phone operators did. And MTN has not only stayed in Nigeria, but is investing more money in the country because it earns more there than in SA.

I would rather put Luanda in Angola for an Africa initiative. I believe President Lourenço, learned from the outcomes of the African sickness, of power and corruptness.

“Angola plans to privatize 74 state companies over the next few years, predominantly those in the industrial sector, according to the prospectus sent to investors as part of the country’s Eurobond issuance”

a much better vision from a leader as to how to get their economy back on track , than even what wanna-be CR is trying. Fist time ever I would say – look to the north for an initiative on an African economy, to revive growth by opening the economy to foreign investors.

Load All 11 Comments
End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: