By Tunde Osho (with agency reports)
Canal Group, which has pioneered work and advised extensively in the emerging markets for more than 15 years with a particular focus on Sub Saharan Africa, and across different sectors including real estate, oil and gas and financial services, has said Ghana offers the best Real Estate investment opportunity in West Africa.
The CEO of the group, Calvin Kwadwo Bediako, said that although West Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria is on par for the bid for the pole position mainly because it continues to deliver good returns, its residential real estate market, particularly at the luxury end, is maturing now and in comparison, Ghana is at an earlier stage in the development cycle and therefore would for the long term provide better returns.
The real estate mogul Bediako, however, cautions that with the growing complexity and sophistication of the real estate market and the challenges thrown up by economic conditions, Ghana’s government and stakeholders in the sector need to build the experience, skills and legal and environmental framework necessary to deal with investor concerns.
He laments that more needs to be done for Ghana to maintain this position as the best Real Estate investment opportunity in West Africa. Though Ghana’s political stability is not of major concern to investors when considering investing in the country, there are major concerns over the legal and administrative red tape involved in buying property in Ghana, as well as the transparency of these processes.
Bediako, the man to watch out for in Ghana’s real estate sector, insists that there persists a perception that investing in property in Ghana must be a strenuous administrative process. In some cases, this view is justified, but buying a new build property can be a straightforward and low risk investment if the process is managed efficiently. The perceived difficulty of doing business in Africa as a whole is a key challenge that the continent must overcome in order to encourage greater levels of investment.
This is why, he explains that, in addition to the sales of problem-free lands and luxury properties in prime locations, his subsidiary company Canal Property Consultancy also provides a real estate consultancy and advisory services designed to meet the needs of clients, so as to manage the process so that the acquisition process does not end up a waste of time, effort and investment for them.
Prior to his role as the CEO and founder of the Canal Group, Calvin who primarily focuses on prime luxury real estate projects, among other previously held senior positions, was the CEO of Blackwell Realty Limited, a property development company, which under his leadership grew from a company with a net asset value of $250,000 to an organisation with an impressive net asset value in excess of $5,000,000 within its first year of operation. Mr. Bediako also holds impressive project management record, with a string of successful completions in the financing, construction and management of commercial and residential real estate calls for a radical shake up of the Ghanaian real estate sector.
He further states that the government needs to consider policy reforms to bolster real estate support and investment. Ghana’s infrastructure development is lagging behind he says and this view is supported by the World Bank. According to the World Bank, some of the limiting factors with regard to Ghana’s infrastructure development relate to corruption, insufficient government spending on roads and a balance of payments deficit.