Aerial Shot Of London

The Africa Opportunity Webinar - What did you miss?

The IoD London Property and Built Environment Group delivered a webinar/online discussion on the great opportunities in Africa on 24.02.2022. This was intended to highlight the expansive opportunities opening up for UK businesses in the property and the built environment across Africa, ranging from commercial real estate to civil and social infrastructure, where the continent is rapidly evolving as an investable property and built environment market for investors, developers and service providers.

The session was opened by Richard Nelson (Chairman of the Property and Built Environment Group), followed by our sponsor Estate Intel (Tilda Mwai). There was an expert panel from government, funding institutions, development, investment and professional services, namely:

Joel Popoola – Chair, IoD Africa Group

Ben Woodhams – Managing Director, Knight Frank Kenya

Peter Young – CEO, Broadgate Group & Development Director, SB Digital Infrastructure

Jess Cleland – COO, Broll Property Group, Africa

Bruce Haswell – Regional Director, Turner & Townsend, West Africa

All of whom shared their knowledge, experience and expertise, which highlighted the scale and breadth of the opportunities in Africa, as well as the significant challenges and lessons learned in doing business there. Towards the end, there was a Q&A session, facilitated by Richard Nelson.

Africa is poised for explosive growth. In 2019, the continent’s population was 547 million, but by 2050 it is estimated to be 1.4 billion people. Much of this will come with urbanisation – the number of people living in Africa’s towns and cities is predicted to rise to 60% in 2050 from the current 40%, according to The Africa Report 2020/21 by agents Knight Frank. According to the report, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana are expected to see the highest urbanisation rates – 80% by 2050 – and Africa is set to be home to at least six of the world’s 43 megacities (10m+ population) by 2030.

Despite these impressive numbers, the continent suffers from a lack of effective and competitive infrastructure and real estate. The African Development Bank estimates the continent’s infrastructure needs at between US$130-170billion per annum, with many sectors lacking adequate funding, such as health, education, security and administrative capacity.

Key takeaways were the power of partnerships (e.g. Legal, Tax, Finance, Property, etc), to improve market transparency, data, insights, which will give people confidence in the market.

A big thank-you to Estate Intel (Tilda Mwai) for kindly sponsoring this online discussion, which was also delivered in association with Real Estate Live UK.

The Property & Built Environment Group is run by IoD volunteers where a lot of work, planning and preparation goes on behind the scenes to make such webinars a reality. The Leadership Team Members of this group are:

Richard Nelson – Chair

Perminder Ghataore – Vice Chair

Argentina Hung – Membership and Professional Development

Paul Whiston – Knowledge Hub

Tom Billington – Partnerships

Chisom Izu – Marketing and Digital

Timm Wellens – Events

Contact [email protected] for any questions, queries and/or further information about the IoD London Property & Built Environment Group.

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