Increased numbers of property investors and corporate occupiers are being drawn to Africa, attracted by its strong economic growth rates and favourable demographic prospects. Africa is no longer viewed as a region of long-term economic distress, but is increasingly seen as a continent of opportunity.
Over the last decade, Africa has averaged GDP growth of more than 5% per annum, with the Sub-Saharan area averaging growth of closer to 6%. The large emerging economies of this region, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and Ethiopia, have been the key drivers of Africa’s growth.
During 2015, a number of African countries, particularly major oil producing nations such as Nigeria and Angola, have seen their growth rates impacted by low commodity prices and slowing demand from China. Nonetheless, the IMF forecasts that healthy grow rates in the 6-9% range will be sustained in many other countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
African economies are diversifying and gradually reducing their dependency on commodities. Sectors such as telecommunications, consumer goods and financial services are increasingly important sources of economic activity. Countries with relatively few natural resources, notably Ethiopia and Rwanda, have also been able to encourage growth through investment in infrastructure and by opening up to international business. The continuation of these trends will help Sub-Saharan Africa to maintain its position as one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions over the medium and long term.