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An Insight Into
Clark's Notes

As much as I love business, I like to learn about a diversity of things and what you’ll find here is mostly just what’s on my mind. Stories that I have, things I’ve been up to lately, and of course, what I’m learning about.

Why Real Estate In Africa Is My Next Big Move...

The top 10 fastest urbanizing cities in the world are all in Africa and the #1 fastest growing city in the world happens to be where my company is headquartered: Kampala, Uganda.


The World's Fastest Urbanizing Cities Are In Africa


Macro-economically, Africa is home to the hottest real estate markets in the world and second place isn't even close. This is due to a variety of factors:

  1. Africa is home to the fastest growing populations in the world. In Uganda the average woman has five children. By 2050 the population on the continent will have doubled.

  2. Urban economic growth is quickly expanding the middle class and drawing in labor from rural communities. In Uganda GDP growth averages 6% per year, which is 50% faster than the USA's post WWII economic growth.

  3. The average age in Uganda is 16, so a large portion of the workforce is young and wanting to establish their own home for their new families.

Due to these macroeconomic demand pressures and the low supply of funding, there is a rising housing deficit leaving people either homeless or living in housing conditions below what they should be able to afford given their income level.


Since my life-long goal is to leave this Earth in a world free of slums, addressing the housing gap has to be a part of my solution to achieve that goal. Thankfully there is also a strong business case to address it.



Just buying and holding land in Kampala will offer investors 20% per year in appreciated asset value, which is more than most real estate funds hope to make on complicated build-outs that require massive teams and lots of risk management in order to pull off. If you sub-divide that land and sell it as individual housing plots, you could very well make 50% per year. And if you actually build apartment buildings, you're looking at an investment that would pay you your initial investment back within three years (while the asset value also doubles over that same period of time).


As a part of my due diligence process, Moses and I interviewed a realtor who has been sub-dividing land in Uganda for the last +10 years. In this video he explains what he did wrong on his worst deal ever. His mistake left him with a meager 20% ROI in 9 months, which for most people in the developed world is the best year they've ever had.



I don't want to underplay the risks associated with an investment like this, but I do want to make the point that with the right team on the ground, it's possible to be a part of the fastest appreciating real estate market in the world. Investors who take calculated risks with the right people will be richly rewarded. Those who ignore this opportunity will be left behind.

As for Muvule, this fits nicely into our strategy, because having physical assets on our balance sheet with offset the risk associated with unsecured microloans. This strategy will give us access to capital from local banks and foreign investors at a lower interest rate, allowing us to expand our microfinance operation without depending on foreign investors.


It's this kind of creative financing where we combine extremely humanitarian work like microloans with highly profitable opportunities like housing to create wealth generating opportunities for investors while leaving an undeniably positive impact on this world for future generations.

Invest in the world you want to live in.


Clark Varin

Co-Founder, Muvule Financing

clark@clarkvarin.com


P.S. To stay up to date with my African real estate journey, join my newsletter.

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