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Passport Season Underway With Africa’s Newest Export Citizenship For A Price

By Claire Obae

  • South Africa’s residence by investment program requires a minimum net worth of $820K as Africa is fast becoming a destination of choice for those looking to buy citizenship on the continent
  • Europe currently has the largest share of countries with investment migration programs for 2023

It’s no secret the rich have been buying their way into citizenship globally for decades. The European Union, United States, and Canada have been using economic citizenship to stimulate local economies for decades. Now, Africa is becoming an increasingly popular destination for citizenship-by-investment programs (CIP) to boost their economies with prices ranging from $250,000 to $820,000.

Why This Matters: The citizenship by investment industry is still relatively new in Africa. These programs aim to raise money and ensure new citizens have a vested interest in their adopted country’s success and long-term prosperity. It’s becoming more common as people seek to escape from volatile developing markets or persecution, by moving to another country offering better future prospects. 

The legal and financial requirements vary from country to country, but in general, applicants must be willing to make a significant investment in the country’s economy. For instance, those wishing to acquire an Egyptian passport can invest a minimum of $250,000 with the option to invest $500,000. Foreigners seeking Namibian residency must purchase real estate valued at least $316,000 at President’s Links Estate. South Africa’s residence by investment program requires a minimum net worth of $820,000 and typically takes eight months to process.

As the number of African countries offering citizenship by investment programs rises, so does the risk. While citizenship-by-investment programs may be lucrative for these countries and certainly provide an attractive option for wealthy individuals who need a second passport, there are concerns that they could also lead to an increase in corruption and conflict of interest. Governments need to protect their borders while allowing for economic growth and development, which means having clear laws on how immigration will work. This way, there will be a clear path on how developing countries have access to better education, healthcare, and job opportunities.

What’s Next: The world is experiencing a renaissance of CIPs. However you look at it, it’s a win-win for both parties. Both benefit from the transaction, as the countries are getting a new source of income and stability, while the individuals acquire a second passport and get to diversify their investments.

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