Zambia is one of the most accessible and investor-friendly countries in which to conduct real estate business in southern Africa. This is evident from the number of foreign investors who have developed and invested in various large-scale projects across Zambia. The real estate sector is beginning to leverage off opportunities in the steadily growing economy.
ZamReal is an annual conference centered on the Zambian real estate market. The forum is used to discuss topical issues in property development and investment. It is also a networking hub for local developers and professionals to meet like-minded property stakeholders as well as international companies and leaders in the Southern African real estate market. The forum also looks to assist international investors in finding local partners. Its main goal is to add value to the delegates through relevant information and various insights on real estate.
The theme for the ZamReal Conference 2017 was “Gearing up for Growth”. Growth requires change. Change can only occur when one identifies the challenges and areas of concern in development in conjunction with existing development. The theme focused on how real estate in Zambia will take shape in coming years and what needs to be implemented now to guarantee this growth is achieved in both the private and public sector. It was a well-attended conference with sponsorship from Stanbic Bank, Folotiya and Chiumya Legal Practitioners, Pam Golding, First Quantum and Knight Frank to name a few and partnered with Zambia Property Owners Association, Lusaka City Council, African Union Housing Finance and the like. There were over 250 Representatives and 100 companies in attendance.
One sector that has been on the rise is the retail sector, with Zambia having one of the highest formal retail penetration rates in Africa. There has been a high demand for retail in the suburbs and provincial areas. As a result, there are opportunities to develop formal retail centers in expanding towns around the rest of the country as well as wholesale in existing centers like Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
Other topics included student housing in Zambia which highlighted the changes in legislation as the private sector has been allowed to enter tertiary education. This has given rise to increasing numbers of private colleges and universities resulting in increased higher education enrolment; ensuring demand for accommodation. In addition to other key speakers, Lusaka City Council presented on their vision to transform Zambia’s slums into inclusive and affordable urban areas by transport development, water and sewerage rejuvenation and living environment improvement.