Mark Bradford is the Chairman of JLL Sub-Saharan Africa and a Discussion Chair at the Africa GRI.
Mark will be joined in his discussion on West Africa by a selection of senior Co-Chairs – including directors of RMB Westport, Sanlam and Eko Atantic City – who will engage with the participants in an open and relaxed discussion.
1. How do you see the West African story developing in the next few years?
M.B.: “West Africa is rich in both natural resources and population. Its future success will be dependent upon
the speed with which it is able to convert its economic base to manufacturing and services. The prevailing fall in
global commodity prices whilst painful in the short term may force governments and business to focus on this
“That ambition, entrepreneurial ethos, and intellectual capital exists amongst West Africans is without question.
What is needed is for governments to invest in infrastructure, regulatory transparency and to assist investors by increasing the “ease of doing business” in the region.”
2. Are Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic City and Angola’s Baia de Luanda taking shape?
M.B.: “Visit Lagos or Luanda and investor confidence in these markets is visibly evident by the presence of these
projects. Eko Atlantic is a vision whose scale is unparalleled anywhere on the continent. What is particularly
impressive is the fact that unlike so many of Africa’s planned developments, this one is well underway. Land
has been reclaimed from the sea and construction has commenced. Eko Atlantic promises a live, work and play environment on the edge of Victoria Island , a vision which in principal will be welcomed by many corporates
and residents of the city.”
“As with all visions of this scale, pioneer investors, developers and occupiers require convincing but as the
inevitable momentum grows, the demand- supply gap will narrow. Baia de Luanda is of a smaller scale, appropriate to the city of Luanda. The impressive promenade has provided momentum for the redevelopment of real estate within
its proximity. Baia de Luanda will provide office and residential accommodation in two nodes, both of which are integrated with this vibrant city. The developments will further underpin the city’s attractiveness to corporates and investors.”
3. Nairobi was named as one of the world cities with ‘momentum’ in a recent report of yours.
What’s driving that?
M.B.: “Nairobi is widely regarded as the corporate gateway to East Africa, and is favoured as a regional hub. This
established city has scale and offers modern office, retail and residential accommodation. Unlike many African
countries where economies are heavily reliant on resources, the Kenyan economy is built on a number sectors including IT, agriculture, financial and a range of services. It is this broader base which gives Nairobi its
momentum and will continue to do so during the current phase of low commodity prices.”
4. JLL seems to be increasingly its footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa. Why so?
M.B.: “JLL has been active on the African continent for a number of years. The maturing of our business in Egypt,
Morocco and South Africa coupled with our belief in the growing prospects of many of Africa’s economies lead us
to commit to further investment on the continent. Our recently established hub in Nigeria will soon be complimented by another in Kenya. The business model and committed investment will enable us to deliver key real estate services to clients in 19 African markets within the next three years. We have identified the need for a non-aligned and independent provider in Africa, one capable of delivering international best practice in a manner sensitive to local conditions. JLL are well placed to fill this void.”
Mark will be chairing a discussion at Africa GRI on the 21st – the 22nd of April 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.