Real Estate Tops List for Badea Funding (allAfrica.com)

REAL estate tops the list of priority sectors in the 1.3 trillion/- projects that Tanzania has submitted to the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) for possible funding.
The projects are contained in the document compiled by Mzumbe University’s lecturer, Dr Prosper Ngowi, entitled ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Investment Promotion in Tanzania,’ which was availed to the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Ngowi, speaking of the document, said it was high time local companies warmed up to possible partnerships that may arise out of the multi-billion engagements with GCC in real estate, oil and gas, agriculture, mining, trade, road and construction, among others.
He said other projects for possible funding range from education, manufacturing, tourism, finance and mining. The GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Other analysts said the GCC sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are likely to invest heavily in Tanzania’s real estate market. According to city lawyer Paul Kibuuka, investment funds owned by the oil rich Middle East countries have gained more interest in the country.
“Undeniably, investment funds owned by the oil-rich Middle East countries have gained interest and are launching into the market, firming up their plans and pre-negotiating with financiers,” he said.
He said that the investors were realising that there’s a lot of investment potential in the market since Tanzania had witnessed major natural gas discoveries onshore and offshore Lindi and Mtwara regions.
“The situation in the country is perhaps as good if not better than it has been in the past two decades in relation to investment opportunities,” he added.
His remarks come as BADEA and sovereign wealth funds continue to be linked with multi-million dollar investments in real estate, tourism, agriculture, mining, energy, manufacturing, finance, IT and telecoms projects in the country.
During the forum where GCC stepped up its interest, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, assured GCC investors that Tanzania still has vast opportunities and that the country has fostered a supportive and business-friendly environment for nurturing growth of private sector investments.
“Those three GCC countries have been the most active, particularly before the onslaught of the 2008 global financial crisis and it’s expected that they will enter Tanzania’s real estate market because of their strong financial muscles and appetite for long-term, high yield investments,” he said, adding that, “Until now, we’ve not witnessed any serious closures in the last few months; however, that’s not surprising since GCC sovereign funds are competing with highly liquid pension funds and overseas private developers for major real estate deals in Tanzania.”
Indeed, in recent months, Dubai real estate developer, Nakheel Properties, has announced plans to share expertise with local developers to construct commercial and residential properties in Tanzania.
Key findings from a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) entitled “GCC Trade and Investment Flows,” show that the GCC’s push into Africa is broadening in many sectors, including real estate.
Last year saw the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) signing a 300 million- US dollar agreement with Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, whose new cement plant in Mtwara is coming on the back of continuing activity in real estate construction and infrastructure.