Africa in focus
• Growing interest of European property and investment industry in Africa
• EXPO REAL: international leading platform for exchange, information and concrete business
• Next edition of the trade show in October 4-6, 2017, in Munich, Germany
Two years ago EXPO REAL, the largest international trade fair for property and investment in Europe, started to take a closer look at Africa. The aim was to inform European investors and project developers about the continent and its potential.
Globalization has impacted the property sector: It has opened up more property markets around the world and made them more international. Only Africa remained “under the radar” and so far few have tracked the rise of the continent over recent years—with all the developments across the various countries—and drawn the right conclusions from it. This prompted EXPO REAL to begin to focus on the countries south of the Sahara and learn more about the emerging economies in this region. The conference program has been expanded accordingly and has in turn led to a significant rise in interest in the information and discussion events on Africa at EXPO REAL.
“I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for our panel discussion at the trade fair. Through the awareness created at conferences which take place at EXPO REAL, investors are educated about the African real estate asset class and it is a long repetitive process to get people comfortable with it. Repeating the Africa section year after year will help investor interest to grow and when short-term conditions improve—the long term tailwinds are there—this might encourage more investors to enter the market,” says David Lashbrook, Head of Africa Real Estate, Momentum Global Investment Management, London, UK.
On the one hand it was about the fundamentals such as economic and population growth—both are of great interest to property investors—and on the other, representatives from African and European companies who are already active in Africa discussed the opportunities and prospects of the respective markets. To further promote exchange with companies from Africa, EXPO REAL is planning a dedicated African Pavilion for its 2017 edition, an idea that is welcomed by the African participants in EXPO REAL, as such a pavilion “can create opportunities for partnership for those who want to expand to Africa with a lot of first-hand information. I also see opportunities for technology and skill transfer”, says Akin Olawore, FRICS, Principal Partner of Akin Olawore & Co in Lagos, Nigeria.
Elaine Crewe, CEO of Messe München South Africa and the organizer of the African Pavilion, adds: “This African Pavilion is intended as a meeting place and information point for all those who are or want to be actively involved in Africa and who are looking for suitable partners. At the same time it offers African companies the chance to find international partners for their own projects and investments, and to present themselves to the European real estate sector.”
The next EXPO REAL takes place from Wednesday, October 4 to Friday, October 6, 2017, in Munich.