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Financial Times Africa Summit 2023: A pivotal discussion on Africa’s economic future

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In an event that brought together some of Africa’s most influential leaders, the Financial Times Africa Summit 2023, held on October 17, 2023, was a powerhouse of discussions on the continent’s economic and   landscape.

The last decade has seen Africa’s companies not only overcome several economic challenges but also attract large amounts of capital and global attention.

This exclusive event offered a deep dive into the intricacies of these challenges, the opportunities for wealth creation, the investment drivers of the continent, the overall financial architecture, and the untapped potential of the continent’s booming and youthful population.

Held at Claridge’s in London’s Mayfair, the summit was well attended by dignitaries such as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Global Advisor, Global Energy Alliance for People and the Planet and Former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;  Judd B. Devermont, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at The White House; and H.E. Patrice Trovoada, Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe.

One of the highlights of the summit was the panel discussion on “African Infrastructure: Accelerating Inward Investment,” which featured Nola Adetola, the young and dynamic CEO of Veritasi Homes, a real estate development brand disrupting the industry and setting new standards for excellence in Nigeria. Alongside him on the panel were key industry leaders, including Fadi Mitri (Head of Africa, Puma Energy), Selim Bora (Chairman, Summa International Construction Group), Tariye Gbadegesin (MD/CEO, Arm-Harith Infrastructure Investment), and Sameh Shenouda (ED & Chief Investment Officer, African Finance Corporation).

During the engaging session, Nola Adetola shared insights on the imperative topic of providing affordable housing in Africa. He illuminated the pressing challenges facing the continent, using Nigeria as a case study. Some of the challenges he shed light on include economic instability, complex capital-raising processes for construction, and underdeveloped mortgage systems.

Advocating for a pragmatic solution, Mr. Adetola was not coy about what he thought the solution might be. He said, “The key to solving these housing challenges is to collaborate with multilateral institutions to secure affordable, long-term capital for developers. This approach allows developers to build housing with flexible payment plans that are accessible to low-income individuals, rather than relying on private mortgage banks”.

With a current housing deficit of about 28 million and more than 40% of the population living below the poverty line of $1.90 per day, Nigeria is in dire need of affordable housing solutions. He emphasized the importance of access to government intervention funds for developers to act as a quick hedge against hyperinflation and to speed up construction to ease the process of homeownership for low-income populations.

Nola Adetola’s compelling insights, deeply rooted in the vision of Veritasi Homes, resonate with the company’s core values of quality, innovation and inclusivity, paving the way for a brighter housing future across the Pan-African region.

The next few years will be pivotal in determining the outlook for Africa’s economy as it continues to grow and capture the attention of the world. There is no doubt that the collective wisdom shared by industry leaders at the Summit will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of infrastructure development and economic progress across the continent during this time.

Nola Adetola is the CEO of Veritasi Homes and Property Limited, a visionary leader who has played a pivotal role in disrupting the real estate industry in Africa. His passion for creating affordable housing solutions and his innovative approach to addressing economic challenges have earned him recognition as a dynamic and forward-thinking entrepreneur.

Veritasi Homes & Property is Africa’s fastest-growing real estate development company, disrupting the industry by providing world-class, innovative, value-driven properties and exceptional living spaces in choice locations, focusing on customer satisfaction.

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