Focus on potential for Africa's built environment at RICS global Summit in Sandton

Posted On Thursday, 05 March 2015 15:00 Published by
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This month, 25 March 2015 the global spotlight falls on opportunities and potential for Africa’s built environment as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) holds its 2015 Africa Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

L Brooke-Smith RICS

RICS is a global professional body that promotes and enforces the highest qualifications and standards in the areas of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. As a public benefit organisation, it operates in all the world’s major political and financial centres in delivering international standards and policy influence.

Engaging role players from across the continent and internationally, key speakers and panellists at the 2015 Africa Summit will debate and explore topics such as the future economic sustainability and emerging market outlook for southern Africa, as well as drivers, trends and opportunities for investment in Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing regions.

Over the next five years, Africa’s economic growth is projected to outpace all other continents, according to Stanlib emerging market economist, Kganya Kgare. “Forecasts also indicate that four of the world’s 10 fastest-growing national economies will be African, with annual GDP growth rates in Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo expected to exceed more than six percent. Importantly, where is the investment coming from, what are the risks and the vital ingredients which will underpin ongoing emerging market momentum,” he asks.

Sub-Saharan Africa is recognised as one of the fastest growing regions of the world – both in terms of economics and population, attributable in part to reduced trade barriers, strengthening governance and improved political stability. A panel discussion at the Summit will explore growth markets and opportunities in this region and how Africa can sustain development, including high value investment, the property market, and the issues around skills employment and capacity.

Further to this, with more than 90 percent of future population growth set to occur in large cities in developing countries, over the past two decades Africa has experienced the highest rate of urban growth in the developing world at an annual rate of 3.5 percent – anticipated to prevail until 2050. Previous projections have indicated that between 2010 and 2015, some African cities will account for up to 85 percent of the continent’s population, which raises a discussion on the type of cities African countries need in order to develop.

The RICS Africa Summit will discuss urban development and creating internationally competitive, innovative cities; maximising land use for high population projections; and planning, housing and development requirements for rapid urban growth.

Says TC Chetty, RICS Country Manager for South Africa: “A highly topical issue on the programme will cover infrastructure as a core factor in sustaining growth, with the power sector being a prime example of infrastructure deficit – whether measured in terms of generation capacity, electricity consumption or security of supply. Interestingly, the 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (with a combined population of 800 million), generate approximately the same amount of power as Spain (with its population of 45 million).”


The Summit programme also includes a panel discussion on business opportunities in Africa’s development, as well as round table topics on housing, urbanisation and city competitiveness, shopping centres and retail, and rural development and land reform.

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