Multi-purpose property in Africa

6th Aug 2019Business

Six of the world’s top 10 fastest-growing economies in 2019 are in Africa, with the stand-out star performer being Ghana. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund both predict big things for this West African nation, on the back of new oil fields being discovered, with talk of a growth rate of 8.8%. It is followed by its neighbour Côte d’Ivoire (7.5%) and Senegal (6.9%) further to the West. While over in East Africa, Ethiopia (7.7%) is doing well and neighbouring South Sudan is predicted to grow strongly, provided its political troubles can be resolved.

The property markets in these countries are benefiting from economic tailwinds and a number of large developments have been completed in recent years. Many of these are multi-purpose, multi-use properties that address a number of needs. It picks up on the international trend towards mixed-use development, where commercial, retail and/or residential property is developed within a single scheme. This is also true in South Africa, where the number of mixed-use developments has been steadily rising, and established ones are being expanded.

The Amdec Group’s Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg, is an example of a thriving, long-standing example of the mixed-use formula. With recent new additions like its One on Whiteley apartment block, and Melrose Square office block, the precinct is illustrating the recession-proof qualities of multi-purpose, multi-use property.

Given that Ghana is not only the fastest-growing economy on the African continent, but number one in the world, it’s worth looking more closely at its property industry, for example the award-winning Accra Financial Centre high-rise development in the capital.

The project incorporates a number of sustainable features, including energy-efficient lighting and insulated cavity walls that help to maintain internal temperatures at constant and comfortable levels to reduce dependence on air-conditioning in the hot summer months. The building houses upmarket office space, supplemented by a large bank and hundreds of square metres of retail space.

Ghana also has successful large-scale developments that focus solely on retail, such as Kumasi City Mall (pictured above), located 250km inland from the coastal capital Accra in the city of Kumasi, home to around two million people.

The first of its kind in the region, this is not a run-of-the-mill mall. A lot of thought and planning went into environmentally conscious designs that would not look out of place in the area. The end product revolves around the traditional notion of people gathering under a tree. With composite timber as cladding and breezeblock walls, the architecture utilises natural ventilation. The development also harvests waste water and incorporates energy-efficient LED lighting. A thoroughly modern building that still manages to fit seamlessly into its traditional surroundings.

SOURCE: Africa Property Investment Awards

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