Former Zambian Finance Minister Converts Family Farm To Real Estate

Former Zambian Finance Minister Converts Family Farm To Real Estate

From Bloomberg

Former Zambian Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane is betting the family farm on a real estate boom as the African country grapples with a housing shortage.

If the plan comes to fruition, the Musokotwane’s 3,100 acre (1,250-hectare) property east of the capital, Lusaka, will be transformed by a $1.5 billion development with 8,800 houses, a university, shopping mall and business park. The venture, called Nkwashi, aims to take advantage of a housing shortage in Zambia that the government estimates at as much as 3 million.

“It’s a big number,” Mwiya Musokotwane, managing partner at Thebe Investment Management, which is running the project, said in an interview in Lusaka, referring to the shortfall in homes. Thebe is controlled by Musokotwane family.

Their former coffee plantation and cattle ranch will be turned into a development similar in size to other large, mixed-used real-estate projects underway in countries including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, according to Mwiya, who is the former minister’s son.

Nkwashi is intended to be Zambia’s biggest real-estate project. It will include a $650 million not-for-profit university that Thebe plans to fund through an endowment backed by donors in North America, Europe and Asia, said Musokotwane, a former investment analyst.

Thebe is seeking investors for the shopping mall and business park planned for Nkwashi, Musokotwane said in the Dec. 8 interview. Investors from Turkey and South Africa have expressed interest in the shopping mall and business park, he said, without naming any.

Read more at Bloomberg