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African cities continue to expand: report

New cities will rise across the continent.

Current African cities will continue to expand and new cities will rise across the continent, PwC said in a report released on Wednesday.

PwC said megatrends would drive growth opportunities in the real estate industry across the African continent.

Global megatrends included rapid urbanisation and demographic changes.

“The pace of change in the world is accelerating, with a series of transitions, known as global megatrends, transforming the way in which business and society operate,” Real Estate Leader for PwC Africa, Ilse French, said in a statement.

“More and more, investors around the world are seeing the growth potential of Africa, in particular its substantial demographic edge.”

French said previously inaccessible markets were opening up through economic growth, improving political stability, and ongoing investments in infrastructure.

In the PwC report eight drivers for growth were identified, including industrialisation across Africa, infrastructure shortages creating opportunities for investment and technology that would impact business and building practices.

Despite these risks, real estate investors and developers continued to see the African market as a huge opportunity, French said.

“It would be easy to underestimate the impact of global megatrends on Africa. After all, Africa’s real estate markets have traditionally lagged behind developed and many developing economies,” said French.

The levels of investment in real estate in Africa were low by a global standard even if significant problems existed in exploiting potential opportunities.

Research suggested that the impact of global megatrends on Africa would be huge.

“This will create a diverse range of opportunities for the real estate industry in Africa — opportunities that often differ from those available in more developed markets.”

The report, based on the views of senior global property investors, identified several megatrends affecting markets around the world.

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