By Carol Natukunda
A global real estate expert has described Africa’s young population as a great opportunity for the continent’s future investment.
“A draw card for investment is the fact that a large portion of the African population is below the age of 20, which means that within the next thirty years, Africa will have a larger working-age population than China,” said Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, an international real estate company.
His revelations come at a time when critics are arguing that Uganda’s young population is more of a burden. Statistics show that more than 52% of Ugandans are below 15 years, making it a dependent population.
But in a press statement Goslett argues: “A growing work force will in turn result in more money being spent and more opportunities for investors wanting to break into the African market. As more people become of working age and move out of their parent’s homes, there will be a greater need for infrastructure, transport and housing.”
Goslett further stated that investors are attracted by the sub-Saharan region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of more than 5% over that last three years. According to the World Bank, Uganda’s GDP has been improving steadily. From 1960 until 2012, Uganda’s GDP averaged 4.9 USD Billion reaching an all-time high of 19.8 USD Billion in December of 2012.
“While it was a relatively untapped region over a decade ago, with economies too badly managed for there to be any real opportunity for companies with integrity, there has been a massive shift towards encouraging foreign investment in Africa and the continent is on the move. Today many large businesses are seeing the potential that the continent is currently yielding and are eager to expand into the region and take full advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves,” Goslett said.
“The opportunities and potential are there, but what Africa lacks is the financial resources, which has largely opened up the continent to foreign investors seeking a far better return than what they can achieve in their home countries,” he added.
Citing South Africa South Africa’s large economy, he added: “Africa has always been seen as the gateway into the rest of Africa. But, the current rate of growth locally is also a lot slower than some of our neighbours, which has led to many South African companies expanding into the rest of the continent,” said Goslett.