A growing number of African countries are offering residence and citizenship to foreign investors through their investment programs. These programs, known as migration investment programs, allow investors to purchase citizenship or residency in exchange for investment in a country. Namibia and Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, have unveiled a Residence by Investment Program that requires foreigners seeking Namibian residency to purchase real estate valued at least 316,000 USD. This program provides opportunities for international investors seeking a foothold and growth on the African continent, including tax incentives, syndicate financing, and a one-stop bureau service for international companies.
Moreover, Mauritius Residence by Investment Program requires investors to purchase luxury real estate valued at a minimum of 375,000 USD from specific, eligible real estate projects. Seychelles offers permanent residence and citizenship to high-net-worth investors for a minimum investment of 1 million USD. South Africa’s Financial Independent Permit grants wealthy individuals the ability to work, study or manage their own business in the country with a minimum net worth of 820,000 USD. Egypt allows investors to obtain a passport by investing a minimum of 250,000 USD with the option to invest 500,000 USD or more. Kenya and Uganda are also at advanced stages of introducing their citizenship by investment programs.
In addition to residence and citizenship programs, Rwanda offers a special economic zone program that grants investors tax holidays, exemptions and other benefits in exchange for investments in specific priority sectors. Zanzibar announced that investors who bought real estate can now obtain a residence permit, which will eventually pave the way for citizenship investment. In 2022, the Ethiopian government announced its plan to issue 5-year visas for foreign managers and shareholders and 3-year visas for executives and directors.
These programs have the potential to be a game-changer for African economies by providing a much-needed injection of foreign capital and promoting sustainable economic growth. While some African countries are just joining the residence and citizenship program market, they are slowly catching up with Europe and Asia. As more African countries adopt these programs, they are expected to create a more competitive market, which will make the programs more attractive to investors.
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