Foreign News

Africa And Its Investment Opportunities

With the success stories so far recorded by many foreign investors in Africa, it is a fact that the economic challenges in the region are investment opportunities for both indigenous and international investors, FinIntell reports.

Business leaders across the globe have also continued to highlight some of the numerous business opportunities that abound in the continent in spite of the challenges hampering growth in the region.

Some panelists at the School of Money Summit in Manchester organised by Olumide Emmanuel, an author and business coach, said that Africa is good investment destination for business operators around the world because it gives significant return on investment.

Nathaniel Ogundipe, an investor and convener of Precious People Business Forum, said that investors should not allow risks in Africa to hinder them from investing in the continent.

Risk Is Not Exclusive To Africa

Another panelist, Obinna Johnson, a legal consultant, said his firm has benefited a lot in their investment in Africa. “Risk is not exclusive to Africa alone in terms of doing business. We hear people complain about corruption, poor governance, and issues with the rule of law in Africa. These issues are not unique to Africa,” he said, noting that investors who do their business surveys before investing always make great returns on investment.

The convener of the summit said that there are many opportunities in Africa, particularly in West Africa because of the various business advantages in the region. Mr. Emmanuel said another fundamental advantage the region possesses is its demography. “The population of West Africa is over 400 million; more than the population of the United States of America, and this is a big market for investors,” he said, adding that “Africans have very strong entrepreneurial spirit because its population is young and has potential for growth.”

Investments In Real Estates

Economic analysts say among many opportunities in the continent, investments in real estates, particularly in shopping malls is a good choice for investors because of potential tenants who are ready to pay full occupancy rates for malls due to the adequate population to sustain the market.

With the investment opportunities in Africa, it is expected that more foreign companies will flood the continent in order to tap from its resources.

Challenges of Procurement

In another discussion of challenges facing procurement at both the local and international levels, Wunmi Akin, a quantity surveyor, at the event noted that the level of service delivery systems and the state of infrastructure development are major issues in Africa. Mrs Akin said the lack of political will to do the right thing compounds the issues.

“In Nigeria, other litigious and contentious issues serve as impediments to making international projects procurement attractive to project sponsors; investors are thereby missing the opportunities offered by lenders (foreign banks) who are always willing to finance international development projects at single-digit interest rates.” she said.

Mrs Akin added that the procurement of international projects model is a challenging and increasingly popular method of procuring infrastructure assets. “The number of projects that are being successfully sponsored is growing, and as governments, financiers and contractors become more aware of the concept, its use can only spread,” she said.

However, she said that the Nigerian government needs to review or amend some of her existing laws to make procurement of international projects a bit investor-friendly, as the lack of it has been a major disincentive to new investments.

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