IRE|BS Foundation for African Real Estate Research

Blog Post

IRES Board of Directors to hold Annual Meeting at AfRES 2019 Conference in Arusha

Materials from Steve Williams
Executive Director of IRES (International Real Estate Society)

The IRES Board of Directors is excited to be headed to Arusha, Tanzania September 10th-13th to hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the AfRES conference for the first time.  AfRES has become an increasingly important component of our global IRES network since its founding in 1997 and we hope you will join the international contingent by presenting a paper, participating on a panel, or providing a talk/workshop on your area of teaching or research expertise.  This is a tremendous opportunity to join your colleagues for an interesting meeting as well as to see the wildlife in the nearby national parks. (See more at
In the past decade, winds of change are affecting the African continent’s 54 countries. For most, the past 50 years have been a difficult transition towards self-rule.  For almost all her nations,  Africa’s democratic growing pains were exacerbated by war, famine, disease, natural disasters, inexperienced  leaders and a lack of even the most basic human services –  housing, food, clean water, electricity etc.       

Today a new Africa is emerging. From 2010 to 2016, more than 320 foreign embassies were opened as the world rushed to strengthen diplomatic, strategic and economic ties with African countries.   This new diplomacy mirrored a shift in Africa’s trading partners.  Today’s Top 3 African trading countries are the USA, China and India while trading with Russia, Turkey and Indonesia has more than trebled since 2006.  Foreign direct investment into Africa is coming as much from China, India and Singapore as from the USA, UK or Europe.

But it’s perhaps the type and style of African trading that has changed most significantly.  Traditionally, neo-colonial powers exploited Africa for its natural resources, caring little for its people and often negotiating deals with local leaders that resulted in a zero investment back into Africa’s infrastructure.  Today’s trading appears to be more equitable. Foreign trade partners are far more likely to import technology, construction, education, support services and medical expertise in return for the export of raw materials, textiles, perishable goods, digital services and tourism. This means that, at last, employment and  GDPs are rising, and political, religious and social freedoms can be openly debated in a growing number of countries.  Education and research have never been more critical for the continent’s success.

Against this, background, our AfRES/IRES discussion in Arusha will no doubt center around positioning Africa’s real estate and infrastructure for sustainable investment in support of national economic growth. It offers a unique opportunity for a global exchange of ideas amongst real estate researchers.

And for those with an extra day or more, exploration of the nearby game reserves, including the Ngorongoro Crater, as well as more distant parks such as Serengeti, along with Mount Kilimanjaro is possible. The organizers have arranged a discounted price for a one-day safari to Ngorongoro Crater described on the website.  If international delegates would like to get together for a multi-day safari trip, please contact Karen Gibler, IRES Executive Director, who has information about a choice of trips with local operators.

The conference website for more information is:

Submit your research paper abstract, panel idea, or expertise that you would like to share to the organizers. 
Early bird registration fee is US$250.  Hotel prices range from $40 to $180.  JRO airport is served by KLM, Qatar, Turkish, and other airlines.  A visa is required for most delegates.

All of us on the IRES Board of Directors welcome you to participate in this important conference.

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