According to the new Shop Africa Report recently released by Knight Frank, Africa’s population has more than doubled over the last thirty years to just over 1.1 billion and projects urban dwellers as the majority by 2040. The report studied 47 African countries excluding South Africa which is estimated to have 23 million square meters of shopping center space, cited Kampala, Dar es Salaam and Lusaka among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world. The continent is experiencing a wave of modern mall development, a trend underpinned by long term economic and demographic growth which is the fastest than any other global region.
By The African Development Bank’s definition, around 350 million people in Africa are classified as middle class. Within this group are brand conscious technology savy consumers who demand access to the increasingly sophisticated retail formats offered by the new wave of shopping malls. According to the report Kampala has 128,000 square meters of shopping space in the pipeline. Developers are building one stop centers where people can shop, work and live in the same space. Knight Frank Uganda is currently in charge of leasing and letting Kingdom Kampala, The Arena and Llyods Mall. It also manages Acacia Mall, Village Mall and Victoria Mall in Entebbe.
Over the long term, shopping center development will go hand in hand with Africa’s increased urbanization and economic growth. As the sector grows and competition between retail schemes intensifies, developers will increasingly look for opportunities outside of the current hotspots and turn their attention to second and third tier cities, playing a major role in shaping the future landscapes of African cities.