Interview with Ankush Shah, Managing Director, Sumaria Group, TANZANIA

Which African country will provide the best opportunity for investors in 2015, and why?

Tanzania. USD based rentals and transactions, higher yields than many neighbouring countries, and a fast growing population, with two of the fastest growing cities in Africa – Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. With a history of political stability, the economy is quite broadly based and the capital markets are opening up; so even without O&G tailwinds, the economy and populations are set to grow rapidly and there is an overwhelming undersupply of residential and retail stock.

Which new or upcoming real estate project do you see as the most interesting in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Dar es Salaam Kigamboni / South beach area. Dar es Salaam is a geographically constrained city with a population growing at 6% per year. You can’t build east (into the Indian Ocean!), and north and west there has been extensive growth and correspondingly high pricing and traffic problems. The southern part of Dar es Salaam is cut off by a body of water and has historically only been accessible by ferry (60-90 min wait each way for a 5 min journey) or by driving c. 90 mins around the water. A 6-lane toll bridge is currently under construction to link this area directly to the port and the city centre. So we are looking at a number of residential and industrial projects in the area and in Dar es Salaam generally.

Which sub-sector[s] are you most bullish about in 2015, and why?

Residential and retail. Many of the East African markets are looking oversupplied for office / commercial stock, especially taking into account upcoming projects. In our markets, retailers are still struggling to find the right spaces and there is a lot of pent up demand for properly titled residential plots or units.

Ankush will be present at the upcoming real estate leaders summit in Africa

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