Harry Trick
Posted on 7 Jun 2016

Michelmores Advises on Pan-African Housing Fund's Zambian and Rwandan Real Estate Investments

Michelmores Legal 500 ranked Emerging Markets practice has advised the Pan African Housing Fund (PAHF) on its two recent joint venture investments in Zambia and Rwanda. 

The Zambian investment, which completed in May 2016, was made alongside Camland Estates Limited, a Lusaka–based construction company. The partnership will develop affordable and middle-income housing through the construction of an initial 310 residential units in Makeni, a suburb to the South-West of Lusaka, Zambia.

PAHF's joint venture in Rwanda is with local developers Kigali Batsinda Estate Limited and is for the construction of a new residential housing complex in the Gasabo District of Kigali City. 300 housing units will be constructed as part of the complex, with units ranging from one-bedroom starter homes to three-bedroom family residences.

The combined total development cost of the two projects is estimated to be US$39,000,000.

PAHF is a private equity fund whose aim is to provide risk capital on a joint venture basis with selected local developers to build middle and lower-middle income residential housing in Southern and Eastern Africa. Investors include CDC (the British Government's development finance institution) and Shelter Afrique. Over the life of the fund it is aimed that over 7,500 homes will be constructed, creating an estimated 22,500 jobs.

Michelmores had previously advised PAHF on its joint-venture investment in Kenya, its first investment since the fund's first close in December 2012. 

Associate Solicitor, Harry Trick of Michelmores' London office led both transactions. Joe Whitfield, Head of Michelmores' Emerging Markets team, provided partner support. Michelmores was supported in Zambia by Musa Dudhia & Co (represented by Abigail Chimuka) and in Rwanda by ENS Africa (represented by Asante Twagira).

Commenting on the recent Zambian investment, Jan van der Merwe, Phatisa’s Fund Partner to PAHF, commented:

"Phatisa is proud to be partnering with a reputable local company such as Camland Estates. While this is a sound investment for our investors, the project will also play its part in the development of the wider Makeni community. We estimate that the development has the potential to provide an estimated 1,200 jobs, over 1,000 homes together with exciting additional mixed-use investment opportunities. Housing is the core of any sustainable community and plays a pivotal role in socio-economic development of any community, as it addresses one of the basic needs for all people in society – shelter". 

Joe Whitfield, previously general counsel at CDC and who has more than 20 years' experience on advising on emerging markets investments, commented:

"We are delighted to continue to play a part in PAHF's commitment to providing good quality and affordable middle income housing units in Southern and Eastern Africa. PAHF plays a vital role in catalysing finance for these sorts of developments and we look forward to continuing to work with them on future investments".

Michelmores' Legal 500 ranked Emerging Markets practice represents private equity funds, financial institutions, corporates, government agencies, and impact investors that are investing and operating in some of the most challenging frontier markets. For more information please contact Joe Whitfield, Head of the Emerging Markets team, at joe.whitfield@michelmores.com.