While Africa had experienced tempered economic growth over the past decade, real estate had emerged as an opportunistic market. Now, in light of COVID-19, will continent-wide investment in real estate come to a complete stop or will we see the sector as a continued investment prospect? How will the acceleration of Africa’s technology adoption continue to bridge the gap in any property deficits?
Invest Africa invites you to join the webinar on the future of the real estate sector in light of COVID-19.
James has 30 years of practical real estate experience working in emerging markets across the world. He is a director and co-owner of EMC Real Estate and advises investors, developers, corporations and governments on their real estate. He has completed major assignments across Africa including acquisitions and disposals on behalf of organisations such as BP, Unilever, AIG and Ericsson. He is also an RICS registered valuer and has valued portfolios on behalf on the UK & US Governments, major banks and real estate investment funds.
Prior to joining EMC Real Estate James was a partner at Cushman & Wakefield’s London and New York offices.
Bronwyn Corbett is a founding member and the CEO of Grit, the largest pan-African real estate focused company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. Born in South Africa, Bronwyn qualified as chartered accountant, served on several property company boards and played a key role in listing South Africa’s largest sovereign underpinned real estate investment trust (REIT), where she held the roles of both Chief Financial and Chief Investment Officer, before co-founding what would become Grit Real Estate Income Group.
Under Bronwyn’s leadership, Grit has achieved consistent Dollar-based distributions and returns and has grown the portfolio from two assets of US$140 million at listing, to 47 assets, currently valued in excess of US$860million across eight African jurisdictions.
Bronwyn was recognised as the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Southern Africa) in the Exceptional Category and was also a past winner of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Top CA(SA) under 35 Award.
Dr. James Mworia Mwirigi is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Centum Investment Company PLC (Centum), a position he has held since December 1, 2008. Centum is the largest listed investment company in East Africa, with an asset base of approximately Kshs 57 Billion (USD 535mm) up from Kshs 6 Billion (USD 60mm) at the time when James took over the leadership of the organization. Centum’s focus is to offer investors access to otherwise inaccessible investment grade opportunities across key sectors of the economy, including real estate, power, financial services, agribusiness, manufacturing, and education.
During James’ tenure as CEO of Centum total assets have increased almost 10-fold and he has conceived and initiated the establishment of many significant enterprises which include; Two Rivers, Vipingo Development, Pearl Marina in Uganda, Almasi Beverages, Nabo Capital and Greenblade Growers amongst many others.
Based in Dubai, Ramsay leads Radisson Hotel Group’s strategic growth across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa with a team based in Dubai and Cape Town. He recently expanded his role as the Head of Development for Africa, further demonstrating the commitment of the company across the continent. Tasked with increasing the Group’s hotel portfolio and footprint in his assigned markets, the Group’s largest geographical area, Ramsay is an expert dealmaker, leading transactions from sourcing through to execution.
He is proficient in legal contract negotiations, due diligence and financial analysis. He oversees the underwriting, strategic planning, investment analysis and asset management activities for all type of deal structuring, including conversions and take overs, financial commitments, franchise and straight management agreements.
A Belgian national, Ramsay is fluent in multiple languages and with a multi-cultural background. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA specialized in Hotel Real Estate Finance and Asset Management from the ESSEC Business School (IMHI) in Paris.
Ben Woodhams is the Managing Director of Knight Frank Kenya and has over twenty years experience in real estate consultancy in East Africa. As Managing Director he is responsible for all the operations in the country, which include valuations, commercial and residential management and agency, project management, feasibility studies and general real estate consultancy work.
Prior to joining Knight Frank Kenya, Ben was General Manager of the Tanzanian office for four years, with a similar role.