There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
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Staff, 5:31 pm
In KwaZulu-Natal the strongest activity is along the North Coast from Durban to Ballito — popular among investors. Residential development in upscale areas such as uMhlanga and Sibaya is enormous, prompting converns of oversupply, but home prices are expected to increase. Durban’s North and South Beach areas, including The Point, have increased as popular residential areas, thanks in part to the general upgrade to the Promenade.
Staff, 12:17 pm
Nigeria should be witnessing major investment into its commercial property industry, given its large economy relative to the rest of the continent, its population, which is more than 184 million people and its general development potential. Yet its reliance on oil and its volatile currency had hindered investment. South African investment groups invested in Eastern Europe at the expense of opportunities closer to home, to the tune of around $1.5 billion in 2016. This was more than the total investment volumes recorded in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana for the past five years or so.
Dana Sanchez, 2:22 pm AFKI Original
Shopping is changing in Africa. Formal retail developers are learning from the failures of malls in developed markets like the U.S., and applying new models to old ideas. African micro enterprises and small businesses will have a greater demand for shared space and flexible office space in the future. New or existing African office developments will need to apply design principles used in innovation labs, incubation centers and flexible work spaces, a stakeholder said.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
Dana Sanchez, 12:50 pm
Less than 10% of African households qualify for a mortgage for even the cheapest new house. But the low-income housing market has more potential than the high end, where most new home construction lives. African housing industry exhibits in 2016 indicated most stakeholders are targeting lower-middle and low-income housing. Poor performance in the high-end market and enhanced tax incentives are partly responsible. “There is a stagnation in prices in some high-end property due to too much supply,” a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:19 pm
Hardly a day goes by when US. marijuana attorney Hilary Bricken does not get a call from someone overseas (often South Africa) asking about cannabis real estate opportunities in the U.S. With plans underway to legalize medical marijuana in South Africa, locals there hope to come up with alternative products that costs less and benefit the country more than Western treatment counterparts. South Africa is a major player in the global cannabis industry, producing a top strain — Durban Poison “The (South African) economic implications are absolutely astronomical if you look at what is going on in the rest of the world,” a local stakehoder said.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:45 am AFKI Original
Business magnate Sol Kerzner, 81, is the innovative property developer of Atlantis mega resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai, but it was South Africa’s Sun City that first propelled him to international fame. The legendary hotel and resort developer sold his family interests in Kerzner International Holdings to a Dubai firm in 2014, but it still bears the founder’s name. Kerzner International Holdings expects to manage its first U.S. resort — also an Atlantis property — in Hawaii. Here’s how he became a global icon.
Dana Sanchez, 2:09 pm
Grace bought a $1.4 million diamond ring from a Dubai dealer and paid for it from her Zimbabwe account at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. She changed her mind and demanded a refund to her bank in Dubai. The country’s economy is crippled by cash shortages and a forex crisis. President Robert Mugabe is immune from prosecution while in office. Grace is not immune. Many Zimbabwean lawyers won’t risk taking on Grace, but the diamond ring case is the second time Beatrice Mtetwa has gone head-to-head with the first lady.
Staff, 4:53 pm
Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam got an official inauguration Saturday. UNESCO has condemned it. Human rights groups say it has displaced people in the Omo Valley and will decrease water downstream all the way to Kenya’s Lake Turkana. A far more controversial Ethiopian dam, Africa’s largest ever, is scheduled for completion in 2017. The Grand Renaissance Dam will produce the equivalent electricity of six nuclear reactors.
Dana Sanchez, 2:35 pm
The 26-acre Atlantis Resorts in Hawaii will be similar to the over-the-top Atlantis The Palm Dubai, which has a water park, aquarium, dolphin encounter and more than 20 restaurants. South African-born hotel magnate Sol Kerzner developed some of the country’s top hotel brands and helped put South African tourism on the map. Kerzner sold his stake in Kerzner International to a Dubai firm in 2014 but the company still bears his name. Other owners include investment banker Goldman Sachs and the L.A. investment firm Colony Capital.
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