West Africa’s most influential real estate investor and developer gathering, the 8th annual WAPI Summit will build new frontiers for investors and developers, says its organizer API Events’ Murray Anderson-Ogle.

“Led by Nigeria and Ghana, West Africa’s real estate market continues to prove its resilience and is increasingly attractive to local and international investors across multiple sub-sectors. We look forward to exploring opportunities across the value chain on 16 & 17 November with more than 400 in-person attendees as well as thousands of virtual delegates from over 25 countries.”

Pennek’s National & Global Growth Objectives

For lead sponsor, Pennek, a noted and fast-growing property developer with a growing global footprint, the WAPI Summit provides a platform to connect with the region’s leading investors, developers, buyers and property practitioners.

As Pennek spokesperson, Deborah Chukwukere, comments, “We hope to establish Pennek Nigeria Limited as a household name in the real estate industry in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole. The international appeal and audience of the WAPI Summit is in line with our strategy and plans of expanding Pennek across the globe having recently opened in the USA and UK, and also to provide quality housing and developing underdeveloped communities as a part of our Nation-building ideology.”

With over 400 units across multiple estates in Nigeria and counting the brand’s signature developments are attracting significant attention from the market, and the WAPI Summit provides a platform for the brand to highlight Pennek’s unique offering to industry leaders, says Chukwukere.

“We currently have different developments in the country, for example, in Lagos we have “The Estate by Pennek”, “The Annex”, “Edificio, and “The Colony”. While in Abuja we have “Pennek Court” .

We know all our developments are successful, but our most outstanding developments are “The Estate” and “The Annex” in Lagos and “Pennek Court” in Abuja. These estates boasts of a combined unit of 400 and counting.”

As a leading national developer, Pennek is also unique in its ability to develop to market and investor demand, says Chukwukere.

“We always try to know the needs of our prospective clients and investors, then we give them what’s expected. For example, we are the first real estate company in Nigeria to offer insurance to our clients. We noticed there was a need and proffered the solution, thereby creating more value for our investors, buyers and developers.”

Novare aims for further growth

According to Novare Fund Manager’s, CEO Hein du Plessis, the annual WAPI Summit has proven itself as the annual leading platform for investors and developers to gather in the region.

“WAPI has successfully distinguished itself as the premier gathering of real estate stakeholders from developers to financiers and investors in West Africa and Africa; where contemporary real estate issues are discussed, and stakeholders get to network.

The value of this summit to us then is the opportunity to network with real estate value-chain in West Africa, share our experience in the sector in Nigeria and other African countries we operate and also learn from the experiences of other speakers and delegates to improve our operations,” says du Plessis.

For Novare, as one of West Africa’s leading developers and landlords, the outlook for commercial developers is positive and this year’s event theme: New Frontiers in the New Normal provides a strategic platform for the company to highlight the opportunities in the market and sufficient leverage for it to achieve its ambitions across Nigeria says du Plessis.

“The (market) outlook remains positive. The desire to shop in a formalized retail environment remains in high demand and this is clearly visible in the number of customers who visit our centres across Nigeria, with strong increase year on year.”

Adding that Novare intends to establish a Real estate Investment Trust (REIT) to further is ambitions of growing its footprint in Nigeria and providing opportunities to investors.

“We are in the process of establishing a Real Estate Investment Trust to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria. Our intention is to raise additional equity for real estate investment through the capital market for expansion.”

A Growing Opportunity for local & offshore investors

For Stanbic IBTC’s Head of Real Estate for West Africa, Tola Akinhanmi, the Nigeria and Ghanian markets have evolved and are increasingly able to weather macro and micro challenges, and this is leading to sustained growth across the sector and into new emerging asset classes.

“The real estate asset class is long term in nature and will naturally be susceptible to macro headwinds. However, this has also demonstrated the resilience of the asset class as it has navigated a number of shocks over the past five to six years.”

He adds that due to this resilience, the market has been able to diversify and grow and lead to new investment from local and offshore players.

“This has evolved with the post pandemic recovery, with expansion being seen across the traditional asset classes including retail, offices, industrial, residential and “new” alternative asset classes including digital (data centers), education (student accommodation) and medical assets. In addition, the participants in the market continue to grow with increasing offshore and local players.”

Despite this increasing resilience, Tola Akinhanmi does recognize the need to bolster capital liquidity to further continued growth and sophistication in the sector a whole.

“A key impediment to growth remains capital and whilst we had seen a growth in offshore capital investments over the past decade which developed several retail mall and commercial office assets in the market, activity levels have been somewhat muted in recent years from a scale perspective. Liquidity in the asset class is key to further unlock investment in the sector and there needs to be a deepening of both institutional investors and developers to fully complete and optimize the investment cycle. In this regard, Stanbic IBTC has worked collaboratively and continues to engage key stakeholders as a thought leader in unbottling constraints,” says Tola Akinhanmi.

A sentiment, which API Events’ Murray Anderson-Ogle shares as he concludes. “We’ve seen a lot of progression across Africa and we look forward to welcoming hundreds of developers and investors next week on 16 & 17 November to explore more ways unlocking development and capital for further growth and development in Nigeria and West Africa.

With more than 200 companies represented over two days and featuring a stand-alone Proptech Summit, Hospitality Forum, Cocktails and more, the scale of this year’s event highlights the growing interest in Nigeria and Ghana’s real estate markets for investors and developers,” add Anderson.