Africans torn between multiple diversified domicile portfolios

Southern African countries predominated the growth markets on the continent in 2021. We saw the highest level of growth in Zimbabwe, with a remarkable increase of 48% in enquiries in 2021 compared to 2020. Neighboring South Africa reported the second-highest level of growth, with an increase of 40% in enquiries, and had a record-breaking year in terms of the total number of enquiries ever received by Henley & Partners from South African citizens.

What countries are Africans looking at for resettlement?

In 2022, the Caribbean island nations of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada are the most popular citizenship by investment programs that Africans ask about.

Other favorites are the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program, which offers citizenship in Europe and all its associated benefits, such as visa-free travel to Europe’s Schengen Area countries, and the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program, which has the Southern African countries predominated the growth markets on the continent in 2021.

Others are the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program, which offers citizenship in Europe and all its associated benefits, such as visa-free travel to Europe’s Schengen Area countries, and the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program, which has the added appeal of enabling eligibility for an Investor Visa in the USA for a five-year renewable period.

In terms of residence by investment, the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program remains one of the most popular programs overall for African high-net-worth investors. Successful applicants and their families are granted full residence rights, including the right to live, work and retire in Portugal, along with visa-free travel across Europe’s Schengen Area.

They are also eligibile to apply for citizenship after five years as a legal resident while keeping their other citizenship(s). The country offers excellent schools and universities, with a high quality of life, a mild climate and a high level of security and top-quality healthcare hospitals.

How about on the African continent?

On the supply side, as one of just two investment migration programs in Africa, the Mauritius Residence by Investment Program is also attracting a great deal of interest from investors.

This appeal is not surprising given that over the past decade, Mauritius was the fastest growing wealth market in Africa in percentage growth, with growth of 74% between 2011 and 2021. The nation also has the highest wealth per capita of US$34,500 in Africa.

Investment migration programs such as those offered by Mauritius and Portugal, which have the option of real estate investment as a pathway to residence rights or citizenship acquisition, are particularly popular among African investors. International real estate has always been a reliable and attractive asset class due to its great staying power.

Real estate-linked investment migration programs have the added advantages of enhancing your global mobility through the acquisition of multiple passports, and expanding your personal access rights as a resident or a citizen of additional jurisdictions.

The combined effect is increased optionality in terms of where you and your family can live, work, invest, study and retire. The possible gains over the lifetime of the investment include the core value of the real estate asset, potential rental yields and global access, giving you the opportunity to diversify your assets, grow your business and enhance your lifestyle.

This article was first published in the 2022 Africa Wealth Report.

 

Amanda Smit is the Managing Partner at Henley & Partners South Africa.