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Africa’s built environment under the spotlight at the RICS Africa

Summit 2016 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will host its second annual RICS Africa Summit in Sandton Central, Johannesburg, on 24 February 2016, bringing together leading speakers and professionals in the built environment.

Opportunities and challenges in the real estate sector and broader built environment of the burgeoning Sub-Saharan Africa market will top the agenda at the RICS Africa Summit 2016, set to take place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton Central – Africa’s richest square mile.

“We are excited to be hosting the RICS Africa Summit again in Sandton, following the success of our inaugural Africa conference last year. The event, which takes the form of a power-packed one-day conference, preceded by a gala dinner the night before, is already fully booked,” says TC Chetty, RICS country manager for South Africa.

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 financial hubs in delivering international standards and policy influence.

World Bank research predicts that Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is set to grow from 4.2% in 2015 to 4.6% in 2016, and then rise to 5.0% in 2017. This points to the region out-performing many traditional markets and starting to match figures associated with India and China, as many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa hit 6-8% percent growth.

Comments Chetty: “Sub-Saharan Africa has seen unprecedented growth over the last decade, becoming one of the fastest growing regions in the world. While current global financial conditions may put a dampener on this growth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s emergence as the world’s next big consumer market will remain a huge positive force. The interest shown in the RICS Africa Summit 2016 is no surprise. We are set for some robust discussions around the challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa, and importantly what can be done to overcome the challenges to ensure that opportunities are maximised.”

This year’s RICS Africa Summit keynote opening session by Stanlib’s Emerging Markets Economist Kganya Kgare – dubbed Real estate outlook and sustainable investment” – will set the tone for conference deliberations. Kgare will speak about investment flows and economic factors that the property sector in the region will need to consider. He will look at Sub Saharan Africa’s current economic performance and sustaining desired growth, as well as zone in on where investment is coming from and where is it going.

Kgare will then join the first panel discussion of the Summit, which addresses strategies required for long term, sustainable investment in Sub Saharan Africa’s real estate market. The panel includes Neville Mandimika, Africa Analyst for Global Markets Research at Rand Merchant Bank and Anthony Lewis, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Capital Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Another highlight speaker is Ada Mwangola, Acting Director of Social and Political Pillars for Kenya Vision 2030, who will speak on industry best practice and integrating standards and professionalism. Mwangola will then join a panel debate on understanding the current market and those that stand to secure business opportunities. Other panelists will include Mark Walley, RICS’ Regional Managing Director, EMEA; Francois Viruly, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Construction Economics and Management; and, Gasant Jacobs, Head of Business Development for Sub-Sahara Africa at Thomson Reuters.

The RICS Africa Summit 2016 will also have an interactive mini breakaway session for discussions around Sub Saharan solutions on land, property and the broader built environment. Other noteworthy speakers at the conference include Ruth Adams, Head of the Marine and Astronomical Team at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, who is a member of the RICS Global Land and Resources Strategy Board; Nnema Byrd, Investment Principal of Stanlib’s Africa Direct Property Development Fund; Peter NewmarchPresident of the South African Geomatics Institute; and, Chris Williams-Wyn, Eastern Cape Surveyor-General of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

RICS Chief Executive Officer, Sean Tompkins, will also be joining deliberations at the Summit, together with Wafula Nabutola, RICS’ Director for Sub Saharan Africa, and several members of RICS’ global leadership. Gugulethu Cele, a seasoned financial broadcaster and anchor at CNBC Africa will chair proceedings at the Summit.

Chetty concludes: “The RICS Africa Summit is establishing itself as a key annual event on Sub Saharan Africa’s business calendar. With the calibre of speakers and attendees at this year’s Summit, it is certainly going to be insightful and put another spotlight on the growth story of this major region of Africa, as well as its future prosperity.”


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