Dr Manzungu gains international recognition

By William Milasi

Top Zimbabwean Infrastructure Development Expert Dr Tinashe Manzungu has won an international business award at a glamorous event held in the United Kingdom recently.

He was awarded with an Excellence in Leadership and Global Corporate Enterprise in Africa award at the 13th African Awards Ceremony.

This year’s Ceremony was running under the theme, “Unlocking Sustainable Trade and Investment Opportunities in Africa-the PPP Approach.”

Manzungu was part of global leaders who were invited by Lord Simon Wooley to the United Kingdom’s parliament for the 13th African Achievers Awards ceremony and International Summit at the House of Lords, UK Parliament  United Kingdom.

Lord Wooley who was the event’s host is the Right Honourable, Member of Parliament of the House of Lords, UK Parliament and was the Chair of the Government of the United Kingdom Race Disparity Unit Advisory Group until July 2020.

Manzungu who is the  current Africa Business Council (ABC) board director and immediate past president of the National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said the recognition is an honour.

Dr Manzungu went on to win  the hearts of UK parliamentarians at the palace of Westminister as he continues to raise the Zimbabwean/African  also delivered a public Lecture at the European School of Economics , London.

The public lecture was attended  by global business people, executives of blue chip companies and top diplomats from across the globe amongst other global personalities.

After the successful event at the London school of Economics , Dr Manzungu was invited to a dinner bouquet at the House of Lords by the lords , a dinner event which was attended by diplomats, parliamentarians and key business leaders from across the globe.

Dr Manzungu dedicated the award to His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision for making  it possible for him to stand solid and firm on engaging investors global investors and also wooing investors to consider Zimbabwe as an investment destination.

In his address Dr Manzungu said Zimbabwe has a strong foundation and a willingness to accelerate future economic growth and development.

His speech was focusing on  Real Estate development and how it is being the primary driver for development in the country.

“Real estate development has gained popularity with investors, which has seen the acceleration spread to Rural areas. The distinction between Urban and Rural in Zimbabwe is slowly blurring out as Urban facilities and amenities are being constructed and introduced in Rural areas. In addition, industry rebirth is at the core of the government fundamental structure in line with the National Development Strategy,” he said.

Following the slow growth of the sector during Covid-19, the Real Estate sector in Zimbabwe seems to have shaken of the Covid-19 cloud which has seen the increase in demand for rental space, suburban offices and industrial properties at 5.4 % year on year from 2022.

In addition in the country’s  2023 national budget,  the construction sector is expected to achieve a growth of more than 15%.

“Government has committed towards environmental sustainability,  supported by the accreditation of the Green Building Council of Zimbabwe,  and the UN’s launch of a sustainability fund in Zimbabwe, particularly in the built environment which single handedly generates almost 40% of the world’s carbon footprint,” he said.

Turning to Africa Dr Manzungu said the continent is emerging as a potential hotspot for real estate investment due to its rapid urbanization, rising middle-class population, increased foreign direct investment, and improving business environment.

“Statistics show promising opportunities and strategies that can accelerate Africa’s growth in the real estate sector,” he said.

Another key factor for the construction boom in Africa according to Dr Manzungu can be attributed to urbanization.

“Africa is experiencing significant urbanization, with its urban population expected to double by 2050. This urban growth creates a demand for housing, commercial spaces, and infrastructure, making it an attractive investment opportunity for real estate developers. By 2030, Africa’s top 18 cities will collectively have a combined spending power of $1.3 trillion. In Lagos, Nigeria, the demand for residential properties is projected to reach 700,000 units annually until 2030. In Nairobi, Kenya, the demand for office spaces is expected to grow by about two million square meters over the next decade,” he said.

While a rising middle-class population in Africa’s middle class is expanding, bringing about increased disposable incomes and a desire for improved living standards.

“This growing middle class is driving demand for quality housing, retail spaces, and leisure facilities. Africa’s middle class is projected to reach 1.1 billion people by 2060, representing a significant consumer base for real estate developers. The retail sector in Africa is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% between 2021 and 2026, driven by the rising middle-class population,” he said.

Dr Manzungu said  Africa has been attracting increasing FDI in recent years, including in the real estate sector.

“International investors are recognizing the untapped potential and attractive returns offered by African real estate markets.FDI flows into Africa’s real estate sector increased by 14% in 2019, reaching $3.3 bilmarket. South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya have been the top destinations for real estate FDI in Africa. FDI in African real estate is expected to continue growing, driven by infrastructure development, urbanization, and government initiatives,” he said.

Dr Manzungu added that they are variuos strategies which can be employed to accelerate Africa’s growth in the real estate sector.

 “Investing in infrastructure is crucial for unlocking the potential of Africa’s real estate market. Developing quality transportation networks, power supply, and other essential amenities will attract more investors and drive economic growth,” he said.

He added that Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are is also a key accelerator.

“Encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors can facilitate real estate development. Governments can provide policies, land, and infrastructure support, while private investors bring capital and expertise,” he said before adding that affordable housing initiatives are also a low hanging fruit

 “Promoting affordable housing projects can address the housing deficit in African cities and provide opportunities for real estate developers. Governments, with the support of the private sector, should provide incentives and remove regulatory hurdles to encourage affordable housing development.

 “Adopting technology solutions such as digital platforms, smart cities, and proptech can enhance efficiency and transparency in the real estate sector. Technology can streamline property transactions, facilitate property management, and attract tech-savvy investors,” he said.

Dr Manzungu said Africa’s real estate sector overall offers significant opportunities for growth.

“By focusing on infrastructure development, fostering public-private partnerships, promoting affordable housing, and leveraging technology, Africa can accelerate its real estate sector’s growth and attract more investment,” he said.

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