By Mike Jones
JOHANNESBURG/South Africa: The Nigerian real estate sector is turning the corner as the country’s economy appears to be emerging from recession. The easing of inflationary pressure, improved investment inflows, increased oil production and an improvement of foreign exchange liquidity, have all contributed to a positive growth outlook for the country.
Nigeria has faced strong headwinds in the past two years however, the currency uncertainty and falling oil price and production that have weighed heavily on consumer confidence are giving way. The World Bank predicted an exit from recession this year and economic growth of 1%, which was later reviewed to 1.2% by mid-year.
The trend towards recovery is permeating throughout West Africa with the Ivory Coast and Senegal showing continued growth and Ghana’s peaceful elections cementing the country’s political and democratic maturity. This bodes well for business in Ghana as the International Monetary Fund has pegged the country’s GDP growth at around 6% for the year.
Once the darling of African real estate, the sentiment for West Africa has been largely negative over the last two years. Aiming to change this narrative, industry stakeholders will gather at the West Africa Property Investment Summit on the 28th and 29th September 2017 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria to discuss ways to overcome current obstacles and uncover the countless opportunities across Nigeria and the broader West African region.
“With a population of over 185 million people, strong real estate development fundamentals and a +6% contribution of real estate to GDP, we believe in the long-term potential of Nigeria’s real estate sector and are excited to host our conference in Lagos, says Kfir Rusin, Managing Director of API Events.
“Whilst there have been some short-term headwinds there are encouraging signs of market improvement and the summit will provide a vehicle in driving back prosperity into the local and regional property market,” he adds.
The West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit is a high-calibre two-day real estate focused conference with very specific objectives related to changing the West African Narrative, with the aims to, Restore global confidence in Nigeria’s real estate sector, Identify critical factors for survival and growth in a recession, Highlight new funding and building solutions tailored to West Africa’s property market, Uncover emerging and untapped opportunities within the West African market, Define a new agenda for private and public-sector partnership as a bolster for growth in the local and regional property market, Outline a sustainable framework for pricing rent and services in West African retail, Create a platform for dialogue and knowledge sharing between local and international stakeholders, Improve market transparency and efficiency through regulations, data capture, technology and government interventions.
With participation from over 350 delegates and 175 companies the WAPI Summit will offer insights, thought-leadership and solution-focused tools with an emphasis on driving further development and investment in the local and regional real estate market. Key focus areas will include debt and lease restructuring in a recession, managing FX risks, uncovering emerging asset classes, navigating the new normal in West African retail, improvements in the ease of doing business and jumpstarting the Nigerian housing finance market, among other things.
More broadly, The WAPI Summit will provide the perfect platform for initiating a dialogue between West Africa’s private and public sectors. Specifically, the co-ordination of public infrastructure development with local and global real estate investment. “This presents Nigeria and the West African region with an opportunity to re-invigorate the country’s commercial and residential real estate sectors, and once again position itself as the number one investment destination for local and global capital,” notes Rusin.