28 September 2017
Reporter: Theo Andrew

Local partnerships key to unlocking West African real estate market

Developing local partnerships at all levels of investment is needed to mitigate risk, attendees heard at the Second West Africa Real Estate Investor Forum in London.

At the conference, panellists discussed how to best manage risk in African development.

One panellist Phil Bonds, director of urban design at Broadway Maylan, said: “It’s best to work in very close local partnerships, and the [local party] needs a full stake in the operations.”

According to the a report by DLA Piper and CBRE, Real Estate Investment in Africa, which looks into real estate investment in the continent, foreign investors are unwilling to venture away from the ‘western mentality’.

Another panellist, Mark Whyte, senior partner at Control Risks, suggested: “Long-term sustainable development is key for the future”, Whyte added.

Delegates at the conference also heard how the continent needs more infrastructure investment in order for real progress to be made in real estate development.

On the subject, Bonds said: “It’s a country bereft of infrastructure … the world is realising how infrastructure can help countries to reform.”

According to the DLA Piper and CBRE report, infrastructure problems, including power and telecoms, are ‘critical’ for future commercial and residential developments in the continent.

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