Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the fastest growing city economies in the world. With improving economies, rising populations, rapid rates of urbanisation and burgeoning middle classes, some African cities are expected to grow between 70 – 100% in the next 15 years. This growth creates the need for quality commercial and residential real estate and attracts the interest of investor groups, developers and operators.
The African Real Estate Summit hosted an investor-led conference where international investors reviewed a showcase of existing assets, new commercial real estate and planned city developments whilst comparing projected capital returns and rental yields. This was supported by a deal making exhibition hub with a 3D showcase of the Sub-Saharan African cities of tomorrow by Town Planners, City Officials & Developers from across the continent.
It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to our many local, regional and international guests participating at the first African Real Estate and Infrastructure Summit.
Like many other cities in the world, Cape Town continues to experience rapid urbanisation as more and more people move to Cape Town in search of opportunities. These opportunities require a fresh, innovative approach. We can no longer do the same things and expect different results. To deal with the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and redress the injustices of the past, we need to reimagine Cape Town in order to create a city that works more efficiently and effectively, for all our residents.
Rapid Urbanisation is a challenge faced by many African cities, and the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, in partnership with WESGRO and United Cities and Local Governments Association of Africa, addresses some of the issues and discusses how African cities can develop to become sustainable, resilient and inclusive centres of economic growth.
I hope the partnerships developed over the next 2 days are a catalyst to stimulate economic and social development. I trust you will have an exciting and prosperous summit and we look forward to seeing you next year in Cape Town.
Cape Town’s built environment is characterised by low densities, long distances between residential areas and workplaces, and historical disparities with the majority of low-income residents living far from work opportunities and spending a significant percentage of their income on transport.

The City of Cape Town’s Transit Orientated Development Strategic Framework – adopted by Council earlier this year – is a bold commitment to correcting the city’s spatial form over the next few decades.