Interview with Ruth Obih: how is Africa gaining traction in global real estate?

MIPIM World: According to Knight Frank’s Africa Report 2015, the population of Africa will quadruple to over 4 billion by 2100.  Do you see more international investment coming in due to attractiveness of the continent’s economic and demographic growth?

Ruth: We all know the famous phrase “the world is your oyster”. They also say that Africa is an oyster. Every challenge here poses a great opportunity. Look at the digital disruption that is creating a huge market for industrial real estate sub sector. Recognising major drivers as being demographics and rapid urbanisation , yes we see an influx of foreign investors. Most of my daily activities include conference calls or travelling to meet with investors who are at an inquiry stage. The growth of the African economy in the last 10 years has been unprecedented and from the projected rise in population, it is a no-brainer that businesses will start to make in-roads into the African market. The rise in population represent amongst other things, a large market for trade and cheaper workforce. Add to this, the availability of natural resources for export and the manufacturing of certain goods and commodities, it’s not hard to imagine Africa becoming an industrial giant in the foreseeable future.


MIPIM World: A few years ago you created the advocacy platform 3invest Intelligence and the first syndicate real estate radio talk show, “3invest ON AIR” dedicated to real estate professionals. Can you tell us more about this? How did you come up with this idea?

Between 2009 and 2012, the Sub Saharan Africa real estate market became extremely low on consumer trust, lacking the vital data needed to make informed investment decisions. 3Invest took cognisance of this gap and created a real estate advocacy centre to fill the gap, empower the consumer, remould perception, encourage excellence, and globalise local brands.

The idea was conceived out of the zeal to provide solutions to prevalent problems in a sector I was a player in. Upon establishing 3invest in 2007 there were a myriad of challenges hounding the sector –  ranging from policy formulation and accessibility of information to best practices. We made a conscious effort to tackle these problems but it wasn’t until way into the task of trying to fix these problems that it occurred to us that our activities were tending more towards advocacy than the actual brokerage that we set out to engage in. It was this realisation that led to the restructuring of the company and its business model. The result of this sacrifice on our part, includes the mulitple awards acheived by myself and the company as a whole, as well as the various milestones we’ve been able to attain thus far. Milestones such as owning Nigeria’s only syndicated real estate radio program and Nigeria’s premiere online information portal dedicated to the real estate sector.


MIPIM World: Was it difficult to create and promote an online platform in West Africa? What are the main learnings you’ve encountered?

To be honest it started out of curiosity to learn about the sector. Prior to 3invest, I had no background in real estate. I am a lawyer turned real estate entrepreneur and the opportunity came in 2009 when I realised that few companies had a digital platform. Let me state that having a company website is not enough. What we have been able to achieve is to ignite interest for players to contribute their quota to the real estate digital ecosystem. A couple of years ago we were credited for promoting digitalisation in the real estate industry in Nigeria – now that was huge for us. As with a lot of things in Africa, infrastructure both hard and soft have been a major challenge. At 3invest, a big challenge is working in an unskilled sector, which makes it difficult to achieve goals within a set time frame. So we are advocating for education and investing in Human Capital to enable us to deliver the most accurate data needed to drive the sector forward and provide our readers with the right content. In addition to this, we’ve had issues with cyber espionage and internet security. Asides these challenges, with the right content, I’d say it’s been an interesting journey and we are proud to say that we have inspired a lot of these platforms that have emerged since 3invest went LIVE in 2010.


MIPIM World: For a couple of years, we have been talking a lot about digital disruption in real estate. In your opinion, how are these trends affecting West Africa, notably your business?

To a large extent, what has been termed digital disruption is a welcome development in the real estate sector and more importantly, Africa in general. I’ll start with real estate first and our business activities at 3Invest. For us, the digital age has brought with it much needed credibility within the sector and globalisation through which 3invest an indigenous brand, gained global audience. A digital region is a transparent region. We believe digitising the industry has and will make it more accessible – especially the much needed data and information required to make investment decision.

We have also seen a drastic reduction in touting and other unprofessional activities as transactions and listings can be verified doubly. In addition to these, information that was hard to come by is now readily available with a single click.  This availability of information has sparked conversations on everything from government policies to best practices.

Africa Infographic

Image from Africa CEO Forum

MIPIM World: In 2012, you were featured by Forbes Africa and honored as the most aspiring business person of the year. In 2015, you were listed as one of the most influential women in Nigeria. How has this impacted your work within the real estate industry in Nigeria?

I am quite humbled by these recognitions however I embrace them carefully. I see my work as the driver – not the other way round – because of the platform that gave rise to the recognition.

This has also given the entire team the confidence to take on more challenges in the quest to bringing the much-needed development in the real estate sector. This is evident in the direction we have taken the business in the last 2 years, the agenda of our periodic events platform, and the content of our media platforms. Last year we launched the African Women in Real Estate for women inclusivity in the sector. This year, we have decided to not only to drive the housing deficit conversation but more importantly, to roll up our sleeves and get in the mix in finding a solution. That’s why we will be launching the 3invest Charity initiative through an annual Marathon to accompany the Real Estate Unite Summit yearly. The idea of the initiative is not only to put a spotlight on the housing gap but to use our platforms to pull resources that will be given back to the society. This will be done by way of cash grants to projects that are focused on affordable/ social housing solutions and this will continue in subsequent editions of the annual Real Estate Unite conferences where we will partner with a different project every year.


KAO - RO POTRAITWidely acclaimed passionate real estate entrepreneur, Ruth is a Lawyer and Founder at 3Invest an organization with a collective goal to develop platforms designed to change the way investors approach real estate in the future. She spoke at MIPIM 2015.

Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.




Top image credit: Bill Kret



About Author

James Martin

As Head of Social Media for Reed MIDEM, James Martin oversees social strategy and deployment for MIPIM and MAPIC shows, as well as MIPTV/MIPCOM (TV industry) and Midem (music industry). He is based in Reed MIDEM's Paris office.


  1. Avatar

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  2. Avatar

    Wonderful work! That is the type of info that are meant to
    be shared around the internet. Shame on the seek engines
    for no longer positioning this post higher!
    Come on over and talk over with my site . Thanks =)

  3. Avatar

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But should remark on few general things, The site style is wonderful,
    the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  4. Avatar

    Definitely imagine that that you said. Your favourite justification appeared
    to be on the web the easiest factor to have in mind of.

    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst other
    people think about concerns that they just do not recognise
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and
    also defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people
    could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.

  5. Avatar

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve take into accout your
    stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely great.
    I really like what you’ve obtained here, certainly like what
    you are stating and the way in which wherein you assert it.
    You are making it entertaining and you still care for to stay it sensible.

    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific site.

  6. Avatar

    Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look
    forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  7. Avatar

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its
    ok to use some of your ideas!!

  8. Avatar

    May I simply say what a relief to discover somebody that genuinely knows what they’re discussing over the internet.

    You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. More and more people have to look at this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised that you are not more popular since you surely have the gift.

  9. Avatar

    Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform?

    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  10. Avatar

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me
    out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid different users like its aided
    me. Great job.

  11. Avatar

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say
    that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing on your rss feed and I’m hoping you
    write again very soon!

  12. Avatar

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly
    enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write
    again very soon!

  13. Avatar

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  14. Avatar

    Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this site, and paragraph is truly fruitful in favor of me,
    keep up posting these types of posts.

  15. Avatar

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site?
    My website is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from
    some of the information you present here. Please let me know
    if this ok with you. Thank you!

  16. Avatar

    Hello there, I found your website via Google whilst searching for
    a similar subject, your web site got here up, it appears good.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hello there, just was aware of your weblog thru Google, and found that it is truly informative.
    I’m going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate if you happen to proceed this in future.
    A lot of other folks might be benefited from your writing.

  17. Avatar

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get four emails
    with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

  18. Avatar

    I was extremely pleased to uncover this page. I wanted to thank
    you for ones time for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to look
    at new things in your website.

  19. Avatar

    Además, para tratar de resolver tus posibles dudas con el uso de los productos Babyliss la marca también facilita en su página web este apartado de ayuda online, en el que podrás leer las respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes, consultar los manuales de instrucciones echar un vistazo a los consejos de utilización de los cepillos y las planchas para el pelo.

  20. Avatar

    Después de todo esto y de leer lo malo que es el servicio de postventa acá, compraré un Dell y nunca más compraré productos Sony. El problema no es solo con los Vaio es un problema de Sony, un servicio tecnico penoso, y una atencion al cliente, que es exactamente todo lo contrario, una desatencion. Se revoluciona mucho a la mínima que haces algo y se satura a menudo sobretodo en internet utilizando google maps facebook. Además el problema del calentamiento y del ruido que salió desde el primer dia fue motivo que al cabo de una semana lo trajera otra vez en la tienda para cambiarlo uno de nuevo cómo tienen obligación.

  21. Avatar

    En las categorías de excelentes resultados de secado con el mínimo consumo, máxima calidad en cuanto al tratamiento delicado de los tejidos, completo equipamiento, fácil manejo y limpieza gracias a la exclusiva tecnología Bosch con condensador autolimpiante, Bosch no tiene rival. Tanto es así, que supone el 18 de la factura eléctrica, una cantidad muy importante y que hace más que aconsejable tener en nuestro hogar los frigoríficos más eficientes y que menos energía consuman. Entre las distintas marcas y modelos que podemos encontrar en el mercado, electrodomésticos Siemens son de los que menos consumen. Ya hace bastante con que su página nos sirva de punto de intercambio de opiniones.

  22. Avatar

    Mi teléfono lleva desde el 2 de Noviembre y no se nada de él porque no puedo contactar con el servicio técnico y en HTC no me decir el teléfono está secuestrado y no puedo contactar con los secuestradores. Quiero pedir presupuesto de reparación, pero antes de mandarlo por mensajería, me gustaría saber si conocéis algún sitio en Valencia alrededores. Informarle de que este trámite puede hacerlo con la tienda directamente a través del teléfono de atención al cliente de Telefónica.

  23. Avatar

    En motores de 2 hp lleva dos capacitores, 1 de arranque de 590-708, 110 v, de trabajo de 0 mf 230v siemens. En Motores de 3 hp lleva dos capacitores, 1 de arranque de 590- 708, 110 v, uno de trabajo de 75 mf 230 v siemens. Primero hay que saber qué factor de potencia tienen en toda la alimentación, este dato si no tienen medidor, viene en el recibo de CFE ó Iberdrola, y se trabaja en base a este dato para la corrección del Factor de Potencia, ahí se ve si se requiere corregir con filtros sólo capacitores.

  24. Avatar

    Contamos con más de 10 años de experiencia dando servicio técnico a cientos de clientes totalmente satisfechos con nuestra eficiencia y garantía. Servicio de reparacion de electrodomesticos Para todo tipo de electrodomésticos y gasodomesticos es recomendable como mínimo una revisión y mantenimiento adecuado cada año. En nuestro taller de reparaciones de electrodomésticos, encontrarás un servicio técnico multimarca, en el que reparamos todo tipo de aparatos electrónicos y electrodomésticos. SAT Oficial Cata, Nodor, Apelson, Svan, Haier, Rommer, Eurotech, Norm, Saivod, Meireles, Emwell, Ecron.

  25. Avatar

    Moraleja de Enmedio, Alcalá de Henares, Daganzo de Arriba, Torrejón de Ardoz, San Fernando de Henares, Coslada, Mejorada del Campo, Velilla de San, Antonio, Rivas Vacia Madrid, Arganda del Rey. Antonio Muñoz – Servicio Técnico de Reparación de Electrodomésticos es una empresa situada en Rubi (Barcelona), especializada en la reparación de electrodomésticos y en la venta de recambios – originales y adaptables – para electrodomésticos de gama blanca. Nuestro servicio se complementa con la venta e instalación del sistema de osmosis, una solución muy interesante para garantizar la calidad del agua que consumimos en el hogar.

  26. Avatar

    Epígrafe 51. .- Comercio al por menor de calzado, artículos de piel e imitación productos sustitutivos, cinturones, carteras, bolsos, maletas y artículos de viaje en general. Epígrafe 52.2.- Comercio al por menor de productos de droguería, perfumería y cosmética, limpieza, pinturas, barnices, disolventes, papeles y otros productos para la decoración y de productos químicos. Epígrafe 52.3.- Comercio al por menor de productos de perfumería y cosmética, y de artículos para la higiene y el aseo personal.

  27. Avatar

    A menudo se usa durante la fabricación fabricación de piezas para maquinaria y otros dispositivos. MECADIS se reserva el derecho de modificar en cualquier momento la presentación, configuración y localización de la página web, así como los contenidos, productos y servicios en él dispuestos.

  28. Avatar

    Disponemos de una completa gama de maquinaria auxiliar para ofrecer una calidad en las prestaciones de cliente y los acabados finales de las piezas a mecanizar. Movimiento de avance: es el responsable del arranque continuo del material, marcando la trayectoria que debe seguir la herramienta en tal fin.

  29. Avatar

    Dentro del Grupo Zaher, Zaher Mecanizados es la división dedicada a la fabricación de piezas por arranque de viruta. Dependiendo del corte en el mecanizado de piezas Valencia podrían mencionarse las operaciones de desbaste y de acabado, siendo en la de desbaste en donde no se exige calidad superficial alguna, ni tolerancia dimensional. METAL GROUP utiliza para sus procesos y productos las últimas tecnologías del mercado y dispone del soporte tecnológico que le ofrece su Departamento de Ingeniería y los Centros Tecnológicos con los que colabora.

  30. Avatar

    I am visiting Hollins University very soon because I’ve researched all the aspects of the english/creative writing department and love it to death. But I am looking for a couple good safety schools with the same strenghts. Any ideas?.

  31. Avatar

    Nuestra empresa ofrece servicios de instalación, revisión, reparación y mantenimiento de electrodomésticos como lavadoras,frigoríficos, lavavajillas, secadoras, neveras, arcones congeladores, hornos, cocinas eléctricas y de gas, placas vitrocerámicas, campanas extractoras de humos, aire acondicionado, calderas,calentadores, termos y calefacciones.

  32. Avatar

    El 12 de junio pasado se conmemoró el 25º aniversario de la inauguración de la planta de la empresa BSH Electrodomésticos España (empresa que engloba a las marcas Bosch , Balay y Siemens ), en la localidad de Esquíroz (Galar). En la ocasión, Barcina afirmó que la labor de BSH Electrodomésticos constituye una pieza fundamental en el desarrollo de esa región. La planta en Esquíroz comenzó su trabajo en 1987 cuando su anterior propietaria, la empresa SAFEL (Sociedad Anónima de Fabricación de Electrodomésticos), trasladó a este lugar parte de las instalaciones y al personal que mantenían en su anterior emplazamiento situado en la localidad de Cordovilla.

  33. Avatar

    Si sus equipos electrodomésticos presentan alguna rotura nuestra empresa cuenta con un servicio idóneo capaz de proporcionarle las más ingeniosas y hábiles soluciones, acreditado con más de 20 años de práctica. Perderá tiempo y dinero ya que ese aparato y su reparación serán nuevos para él. Por ello, confíe en nosotros, somos TÉCNICOS ESPECIALISTAS EN Frigorificos Corbero desde hace 24 anos, conocemos la tecnología y estamos a la última de las innovaciones de Corbero. Llama al 929 70 y comprobará la calidad de nuestro servicio tecnico de Frigorificos Corbero en Leon.

  34. Avatar

    Las lavadoras Candy cuentan con una de las tecnologías punteras del sector de los electrodomésticos actuales. Deposite su confianza en nuestro SERVICIO TÉCNICO PROFESIONAL ESPECIALIZADO EN electrodomesticos Philips, no le defraudaremos, nos comprometemos con usted con honestidad y profesionalidad. Son muchos años los que llevamos reparando lavadoras en Ciudad Pegaso de todas las marcas, tenemos un equipo de técnicos profesionales, con más de 20 años de experiencia la reparación de electrodomésticos. Todas las reparaciones cuentan con tres meses de garantía en mano de obra y en repuestos los que da el fabricante.

  35. Avatar

    Les damos las gracias por visitar esta pagina y estaremos encantados en ofrecerle nuestro servicio de reparación de electrodomésticos. Miles de clientes de toda la Comunidad de Madrid han confiado en nuestro servicio técnico durante todos estos años y, sin duda alguna, los resultados han sido inmejorables. He podido leer en uno de tus artículos que el servicio técnico no es muy bueno.

  36. Avatar

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

Leave A Reply