- March 1, 2018: Vol. 12, Number 3

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Unknown territory: Is it time to tune into Africa’s untapped potential?

by Johanna Monthe

Of the three most prevalent asset classes in Africa — private equity, infrastructure and real estate — it is undoubtedly real estate that appears the most overlooked.

Research by law firm Linklaters has found that, over the past five years, Africa-focused real estate funds have raised just €1.63 billion from investors, compared to the €9.7 billion and €3.4 billion raised in the same period by private equity and infrastructure funds, respectively.

This imbalance is striking. Africa’s prevailing demographic trends should make its real estate market an obvious opportunity for fund managers and investors. Within the next 15 years, it is projected that Africa’s working age population will be larger than those of both China and India. However, the supply of property across the continent is already either struggling or altogether failing to keep pace with demand. Nigeria alone, for example, is said to be suffering from an estimated housing shortfall of between 1

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