The African Global Chamber of Commerce’s (AGCC) mission is to promote multi-lateral trade, investment, cultural exchanges and education with African nations to the United States. 2018 was a banner year for AGCC and its founder Olivier Kamanzi. Mr. Kamanzi, an investment banker by trade, boasts relationships and partnerships with the US State Department, Northwestern University, Rainbow Push Coalition, the Dakar Chamber of Commerce and the South Africa ANC Progressive Business Forum. In the interview below, Lauren G. Lowery, Finders Plus Real Estate and FP Commercial Advisors and C.A.R. Global Council Member, speaks with Mr. Kamanzi about the current state and future of economic investment in Africa.
Lauren G. Lowery (LL): Why is investment in African countries important?
Olivier Kamanzi (OK): There are several reasons why Africa is, and should be, the next destination for investment. Africa is rich in resources and human capital, but its wealth is very underestimated. With increases in industry and low labor costs, Africa will become a global manufacturing center, usurping China. At this time, 60 percent of the continent is free land waiting to be cultivated for both traditional and non-traditional resources. With the combination of Africa’s mineral resources and increasing agriculture, Africa will eventually feed the world. The African Global Chamber of Commerce advances its mission by partnering and collaborating with Africans in the diaspora, America’s global business communities and Africans on the continent to expose these opportunities.
LL: Are there real estate investment opportunities at this time?
OK: Absolutely. Infrastructure is the key investment priority across the continent of Africa. Even the African leaders have directed the African Development Bank, an investment bank of all African Nations, to create a fund targeting Infrastructure projects funding. It is called the Africa50 Fund. Social, residential housing and commercial constitute important investment opportunities for U.S. Investors.
LL: Which countries/cities should be targeted at this time?
OK: In all 55 African Nations, there are shortages of housing and the population keeps increasing year after year. For investors to decide the countries or cities they prioritize for investment, they should assess each country individually in terms of safety and business climate. Understanding the major cities that offer minimum infrastructure such as electricity, roads, internet, etc. is also critical. I will say that the countries and cities to target are many. I would encourage any investor interested to prospect the possibilities to invest in Africa to contact Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, and we will provide a list of countries and cities that we have identified as safe and priority investment destination.
Olivier Kamanzi looks forward to inviting the Global Council to many of its events in 2019 and would love to plan a joint trade mission to Niger in the near future.
Lauren G. Lowery, Finders Plus Real Estate and FP Commercial Advisors and C.A.R. Global Council Member