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Wealthy Africans 'Beyond the borders' in the global south

Africa's Billionaires

The rising star, the African continent.

Wealth in Africa is on the rise. The wealthy citizens of the whole African continent belong to the category of strong economic profile and limited world

The Africa Wealth Report revealed that the four largest concentrations of millionaires on the continent of Africa are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya. However, in an unstable global climate, especially since the health crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, characterized by growing political, ecological and economic uncertainty, there are compelling reasons to reassess their wealth in Africa and beyond. For entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals in these four countries, free mobility is limited from 64-100 countries in the world today.

The diversification of domicile and the alternative citizenship protect their families of future during geopolitical and economic crisis and ensure their heritage with more opportunities.

Our traditional notions of citizenship are “outdated”. "It's one of the few things in the world that remains tied to blood ties or where you were born"

Access to the Golden Visa Program

At the Crans Montana forum Brussels-Africa, Bruno L'ecuyer, president of the 'Investment Migration Council Geneva' organized a working breakfast in the presence of Jean Paul Carteron (president of Crans Montana Forum), Ameenah Gurib-Fakim ​​(former president of Mauritius) and Government of Morocco.

Bruno L'ecuyer: The clear disparity between wealth and global mobility among African High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) means that these are uniquely positioned to take advantage of RCBI investment migration programs in the western world. (residence and citizenship by investment)

Jean-Paul Carteron said: 'Investment Migration' is an individual solution for free mobility outside the continent. This IMC organization leads the industry of 'Investment Migration' and brings investment attraction to the continent and efforts to revitalize the economy through the promotion of free labor, residence, and movement in the African continent. The advantageous role of IMC can be mentioned in consultations between African leaders and free talks with national leaders.

Morocco was the first foreign destination for French retirees benefiting from the tax exemption, especially in a single city Agadez was home to more than 600 French retirees. Since the attacks by Islam radicals in 2015, Morocco, the priority country has been replaced by Portugal for the French retirees. Today Morocco is ambitious to launch RBI program (residence by investment) with advantageous conditions for retirees from the continent. Explains a spokesperson of Government of Morocco at working breakfast: "At one time, when Morocco faced an economic crisis, the low prices helped many people of the continent invest. It brought free movement and investment opportunities within the territory of continent."

In July 2021, the government of Mauritius approved residence program which grants immediate permanent residence for foreign nationals of real estate investment more than USD 375,000. Successful applicants and their families have the rights to live, work, and retire in Mauritius. Mauritius is edging out developed countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand as a destination. Many South Africans pack their bags for Mauritius not just for the island nation’s natural beauty and splendour. Greater financial and tax security appears to be the weightier factor for their decision to live permanently in Mauritius through the real estate investment schemes approved by the Economic Development Board of the island nation in July 2021. In these schemes

1. The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS): Luxury residential property with a land area exceeding 10 hectares

2. The Real Estate Scheme (RES): Luxury residential property smaller than the IRS units and built on freehold land not exceeding 10 hectares

3. The Property Development Scheme (PDS): Residential, resort and leisure properties. The projects are subject to strict controls regarding respect for the environment and must focus on ecology

4. The Smart City Scheme (SCS): a mixed-use property development program that incorporates office, residential, commercial, educational and medical spaces as well as a leisure component. The pillars of this scheme are innovation, sustainability, efficiency and quality of life.

The peoples of Global North are also decentralizing since the pandemic due to having a life of nature and diversifying the domicile.

In addition, globalization has led us to be born in one country, to be educated in another, to have roots and residences between the two countries (27 countries in Europe). Exploring the concept of citizenship planning in the form of naturalization by residency, marriage, and investment migration is a tool for global mobility.

Today, three quarters of African countries allow dual nationality and wealthy Africans can move for family welfare, educational and business opportunity.

Which African countries allow dual citizenship?

Since the 1960s, the nature of their relationship with their diaspora as well as with their former colonizing country has preoccupied the States of the continent. Africans are increasingly mobile, inside and outside the continent, which raises the question of access to dual nationality.

The right to change nationality

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes three elements of the right to a nationality in international law: the right to a nationality itself; the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of nationality; and the right to change nationality. The first element gets attention from those interested in the conundrum of statelessness, in membership and belonging; the second from those concerned about discrimination, due process, and the rule of law; but the third element is comparatively neglected by the policy and scholarly communities.

What does the right to change nationality mean?

First of all, it requires that a person should have the right to renounce a birth nationality (meaning that he has or will immediately acquire another nationality). But for the right to be real a person must also have the right to acquire nationality in another country than their country of birth, based on their strong connections there. In practice this is often not available.

The percentage of settled immigrants with host country citizenship reaches 90 percent in Canada, 81 percent in Australia, 62 percent in the US, and an average of 59 percent across the European Union (though with much variation). In Africa and Asia we have no such statistics: but naturalization is often almost completely inaccessible, especially to those who most need it in Africa. Among African states, The research by Bronwen Manby shows; Nigeria – population estimated at 200 million – grants no more than a couple of hundred people citizenship each year. South Africa, which until around 2010 naturalized ten thousand or more each year, has decided that naturalization should be ‘exceptional’ and reduced the numbers to a few hundred. The statistics that can be gleaned from other African countries indicate that the numbers are everywhere low, sometimes in single figures each year, or zero.

The naturalization provisions in the laws of post-colonial states largely mirror those of the colonisers, with minor variations adopted since independence – usually to make citizenship harder to acquire, by lengthening the residence period or creating stronger requirements of cultural assimilation.

At the time of the independence of the French colony,

"Those who did not take the nationality [of an African country] were viewed with suspicion, as a 'fifth column' serving foreign interests," says a study by the African Human Rights Commission, the ACHPR. Necessity being law, these rules have evolved. "From the 1980s, the role of the diaspora became very important, due to the increasingly high volume of money transfers to the countries of origin, as well as the quality of its members", continues the 'Study. Like Ghana in 2002 and Niger late in 2012, most states have taken the plunge, without restrictions.

Others, more cautious, allow dual nationality only under certain conditions:

in the event of marriage, or with special authorization from the government, as in Egypt and South Africa, in order to restrict access to certain sensitive positions. Finally, Cameroon, still suspicious of a diaspora deemed hostile, and DR Congo, where "the one and exclusive nationality" of Mobutu remains in place. On the continent, three other countries prohibit dual nationality: Cameroon, Liberia and Malawi. For the others, it is very variable.

Some authorize it without restriction (Benin, Mali, Niger, Algeria or Morocco), others supervise it, more or less strictly: in Mauritania or Uganda, it is possible with the express authorization of the government ; also in Equatorial Guinea, in the event of a bilateral treaty. In Senegal or Guinea, it is also possible for naturalized citizens…


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