15 Mar 2019 - Sierra Leone (Freetown)
I have just returned from Sierra Leone where the speedboat trip across the bay from the airport to Freetown provided just the adrenaline rush needed to shake of the feeling of drowsiness from my flight.
I stayed at the Country Lodge, Hill Station which has great views across the city and is still a little cooler than the coastal region despite the fact that most of the trees have now gone from the hill. A reminder of what it was like before deforestation comes in the form of the Cotton Tree that marks the centre of Freetown. It is said to be over 300 years old and is home to a colony of bats.
13 Mar 2019 - Liberia (Monrovia)
I am in Monrovia in Liberia looking at the land market.
It is complicated because only Liberians can own real estate, and to be Liberian you have to be of African descent, but almost of the major developers are foreign.
Therefore, all ownership by foreigners, which includes embassies, is based on a lease from Government or a Liberian company or person, normally for 30 years+ with rent reviews, sometimes with an upfront premium, compensation for buildings, profit share etc.
All of this makes the land market very difficult to analyse, with concerns that the ownership laws might encourage foreigners to withdraw their investments from the country.
7 Mar 2019 - Kenya (Nairobi)
Charles Hector Whitmee
This week I am in Nairobi looking at the industrial land market. With an oversupply of office space, shops, homes and hotels, industrial is perhaps the only sector in and around Nairobi which currently has a buzz around it.
In 2018, JLL reported that total demand for industrial property in East Africa surpassed that of West Africa for the first time, with Ethiopia and Kenya being the main drivers of growth. In fact, the same study projected that demand for industrial property in Kenya would grow by 3.6% year-on-year over the next decade. This is in large part due to major infrastructure projects which have begun to attract foreign investment into Kenya, as the country seeks to become the regional logistics hub for East Africa. These infrastructure projects include: