Propelling Zimbabwe’s Real Estate Sector Into A New Era Of Prosperity

The ZimReal Property Investment Forum on the 13th of June will drive a new era of economic growth in Zimbabwe by unifying the local real estate market.

Presented by API Events, one of Africa’s leading business to business conference producers, the one-day forum will be hosted at the Meikles Hotel in Harare.

This year’s gathering is based on the theme: ‘A New Dawn: Driving Economic Growth Through Real Estate Investment.’

Recognised as Africa’s preeminent experts in creating opportunities for networking, deal-making and driving investment in real estate, API Events’ commitment and confidence in Zimbabwe is evident in their decision to host the forum before the upcoming national elections.

As API Events’ managing director, Kfir Rusin, said, “It’s a new dawn for the country, and we’re confident and excited about the prospects in Harare, Bulawayo, Vic Falls, Mutare and other burgeoning towns.

For him, there are a lot of opportunities from office space, retail, hospitality, infrastructure and housing.

As Rusin said, “We’re looking forward to driving long-term investment into the market, and creating the platform to create solutions, and showcasing the opportunities to our stable of local and regional international investors and developers.”

Synonymous for its market-leading investment conferences across Africa, API Events’ forums and summits are well-known for the market leading funds that utilise its events across top performing markets to conduct due diligence and to meet new suppliers, local developers and understanding public-sector policy.

For Rusin, while foreign direct investment is component needed for sustained growth, a key outcome of the forum is to unify the market and remove bottlenecks to get the market investment ready.

“The interest we’ve gathered from the private and public-sector has been tremendous. We are pleased to announce that the Honourable Minister July Moyo, Minister, Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing, will deliver the Keynote address. As ZimReal is about creating the platform for growth and having the minister deliver the speech is evidence of the high calibre public-sector stakeholders attending the summit and the value of the industry has to the growth  of the economy.”

For local market thought leader, Justin Dowa, the MD of Dawn Property Consultancy, a regular attendee at API Events market leading Africa events, the impact of such an event for the local sector in significant.

“After many years of isolation which has seen the local industry lag the region and the rest of the world quite significantly, the local property industry welcomes the holding of a regional and top tier event of this nature in the country. The opportunity to interact with external participants and gain an appreciation of current insights on some of the topical issues impacting the industry is invaluable to defining the way forward for Zimbabwe,” said Dowa.

Featuring multiple sessions and industry-leading speakers, ZimReal’s proceedings will start by addressing big-picture challenges, which include building permits, restoring infrastructure and town planning; the rejuvenation of the Harare CBD, and direct foreign investment.”

“The day will cover every aspect of the property and development market, but I think the morning’s panel discussions will generate a lot of interest and a roadmap for the industry to follow,” said Rusin.

Featuring senior level public sector stakeholders and luminaries from the private sector, the panel discussions will create a workable framework for the industry to drive change and development within the sector.

For Dowa the event will chart a new course for development, as he said, “The event hopefully will focus the minds of the industry players on the steps that require to be taken to achieve market recovery while mapping the strategies for medium-term growth for the asset class.”

“It’s at the right time, and the objectives speak to local demands. For me, I am excited about how we can reduce the cost of doing business; improving and working together to improve transparency and provide a framework for standards in the market.” As one of the moderators of a special session on ‘The business of real estate in Zimbabwe’, his special session will focus on how the country can pave the road ahead for the development of more institutionalised assets and formalised sector.

Sharing Dowa’s sentiment, Rusin said the market while underinvested from a direct foreign investment perspective; it has unique advantages.

For him one of the key differences is the scale and size of the role, the local pension fund sector has in the market.

“Traditionally, we’ve seen pension funds go for government bonds in Africa, but here, we’ve got a scenario where real estate is the number one asset class in Zimbabwe for these funds, which provides all types of opportunities for strategic development.”

The status-quo provides further evidence of the inherent sophistication of local property stakeholders, and for Rusin, it provides additional opportunities to provide new best practice solutions and innovations from other markets and how these investors can help redevelop the required new A-grade assets.

“If we look at the Harare CBD, the pension and insurance funds are the primary owners of these assets, and one of the big talking points is how will they help develop these into institutional assets to upgrade the CBD. Fortunately, they have the capital and in this new positive climate – it’s the right time to redevelop.”

Covering housing, infrastructure, hospitality, funding and innovation, the ZIMREAL Property and Investment Forum will cover the emerging real estate opportunities and provide a solid foundation on which the sector can thrive and grow the economy.

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