Investment Firms Funding Retail Developments In East Africa

Investment Firms Funding Retail Developments In East Africa

Written by Difin Mulupi | From HowWeMadeItInAfrica

East Africa’s shopping landscape is slowly changing with the construction of multi-million dollar centres in prominent cities. Many projects are being developed by investment firms and private equity funds eager to cash in on the region’s burgeoning consumer markets.

In Nairobi, London-based private equity firm Actis is set to open its $250m Garden City mall on May 28th. The first phase of the project will include 33,000m2 of retail space, residential units and a parking area. Garden City is located along the Thika highway, a multi-million dollar road completed in 2012 that connects Nairobi with the town of Thika, about 40km north-east of the capital. The development has attracted leading retailers, including South Africa’s Game and US fast-food chain KFC.

Although Nairobi is already relatively well serviced in terms of modern retail space, Koome Gikunda, investment principal at Actis, says it identified a gap in the eastern suburbs which “were severely under-served” at the time.

“There was an area where about 1.5 million people had no access to any formal retail. [Secondly], a two-lane road was being converted to a multi-lane highway. In other markets we have seen the effects of transformational infrastructure on middle class growth. This is by far the fastest growing node in Nairobi.”

Other mall developments in the region include Mara Group’s $300m Oysterbay City project in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam, which will include the country’s largest shopping mall.

Read more at HowWeMadeItInAfrica