Modular Housing Growing in Africa

Following the thread of a story posted Feb. 3, 2014 regarding the Kenya government’s plan to build thousands of modular homes for low-income residents, Canadian investor Charles Field-Marsham says the growing middle class among the 800 million in sub-Sahara Africa offers lucrative markets to tap into. A stockbroker in Kenya for 20 years and the founder of Kestrel Capital Management Corp., which specializes in investment banking, says opportunities exist in infrastructure, consumer products, transportation, communications and financial services, according to Dispelling myths that the entire continent is rife with political turmoil, corruption, disease and “spam e-mails from deposed princes asking for your PIN number,” Marhsam says in 13 years the number of telephone lines has increased from 300,000 to 32 million, and that Kenya is the world leader in mobile banking.

Miles Morland’s Great Britain-based firm, Development Partners International, has a $500-million (U.S.) fund invested in eight countries in different industries, including modular housing, as well as banking, fast foods, telephone towers, micro-finance, insurance, pharmaceuticals and food processing. As for corruption, Mr. Morland says, “I would trust a handshake in Africa further than a lawyer’s agreement in the U.S.” Whether his firm is involved in the Kenya government’s modular housing plan is not clear.

(Photo credit:–Nairobi, Kenya)

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