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The case for African social infrastructure



The case for African social infrastructure


April 3, 2024

The case for African social infrastructure

Tom Koch

Africa is in urgent need of social infrastructure to support its rapidly growing population. As the demand for education, housing, hospitals, and public facilities continues to grow, investment is needed now more than ever. With emerging challenges ranging from pandemics, climate change disasters, food insecurity, and conflict, sustainable infrastructure is critical to averting the exacerbation of existing issues facing the continent. However, recognizing this growing demand presents a unique opportunity for investors, DFIs, and stakeholders from both public and private sectors to intervene in this emerging market.

Investment in African social infrastructure–simply put–can be defined as African real estate that serves an essential societal purpose, according to the author. Despite the existing barriers to investing in this sector, including limited data, the lack of proper regulatory and urban planning frameworks and limited financing options that hinder the development, investors who are willing to make risk-conscious investments would reap the long-term benefits of higher relative yields and the portfolio diversification that the African real estate market provides. This report argues that African social infrastructure can provide attractive investment opportunities that offer profitability and mutually beneficial impact across the continent.

About the author

Tom Koch is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and is an emerging markets investment professional. He was previously director of global capital and strategy at FCA Corp, the advisor to a multi-sector Africa focused private equity fund. Prior to that, he worked within Deloitte Consulting’s mergers and acquisitions group.

The Africa Center works to promote dynamic geopolitical partnerships with African states and to redirect US and European policy priorities toward strengthening security and bolstering economic growth and prosperity on the continent.

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