Sub-Saharan Africa: RMB Westport launches $250m mortgage fund

Feb 17, 2016

During its first phase, the fund will focus on Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast.

FirstRand Group and RMB Westport have unveiled a new initiative to boost access to housing finance in sub-Saharan Africa, with the launch of a $250 million (€224 million) fund.

The scheme, which will focus during its first phase on Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast, will be managed by RMB Westport.

"Despite a number of macroeconomic headwinds in certain of the territories in which we operate, strong long-term growth prospects, coupled with favourable demographics, and the pleasing trends of increasing urbanisation and consumer spending have all led to high demand for retail, industrial and commercial property space," said RMB Westport chief executive officer Simon Fifield in a press release seen by The Guardian.

He added that the new funds raised will be used to finance the development and management of property developments in Africa, with eight investors comprising international institutions already showing interest.

African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, and the shortage of houses is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa. This shortage is estimated at two million units in Kenya, while Nigeria is in want of 17 million units.

Last year, the International Finance Corporation and Chinese multinational construction company CITIC launched a $300 million investment platform to develop 30,000 homes in multiple African countries.