Saturday, June 22, 2024

You can bank on the banks of the Limpopo River

Negative growth may sound like a paradox to some but this technical definition of recession has now become reality as Gordon Brown announced last week. The topic has indeed been consuming our media interest for many months now with things promising not to get any better soon.

So, with the words ‘credit crunch’ and ‘invest your money’ having no reason to appear in the same sentence, what is the answer amidst the chaos for those who do want to invest their money wisely? Cash remains cash and as banks collapse and governments step in to bail out institutions where can your money be safe? The answer: Botswana.
Despite Botswana’s rate of inflation trending upwards in the last year due to the general global increase in energy and food prices, the Botswana Central Bank in a recent statement said: “We remain committed to responding appropriately to all economic and financial developments to keep inflation under control without undermining sustainable economic growth.”┬á

And this is something that Botswana has always done well. In a survey of banking across 134 countries conducted by WEF (World Economic Forum) Botswana has risen to 34th position with the UK trailing behind at 44th, further emphasising what a concerning position UK banks are in. A senior economist at the WEF, Jennifer Blanke comments: “Botswana is one of the best run countries in Africa. It has the lowest corruption levels and it is probably one of the countries to go to in terms of investments.”┬á

As one of the most dynamic and successful economies and one of the most progressive and politically stable nations on the African continent, Botswana is increasingly showing the world that it has vast investment potential. The WEF saw Botswana make a massive 20 place improvement in its Global Competitiveness Report for 2008-2009, making their position now 56.
The report states: “Among the country’s strengths are its reliable and legitimate institutions, ranking a high 21st worldwide for the efficiency of government spending, 22nd for public trust of politicians, and 26th for judicial independence. Botswana is rated as the country with the lowest corruption in Africa (22nd out of 134 countries).”

Alan Marneweck, founder and share holder of the Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness reserve in eastern Botswana says: “With a lack of credit available and stocks and shares falling by the day, the options for those who have cash and want to invest are quite limited yet Botswana ticks so many boxes. Some investors feel that stamps, wine and art are thriving investment opportunities that maintain cash value, I have no doubt that this is true but as a share holder in Limpopo-Lipadi I see the rewards of my investment everyday as we give local communities jobs and training; animals are reintroduced into the wild and ecosystems are studied and invested in – Limpopo-Lipadi is alive; a living, breathing investment.

“A fundamental point to make also is that as soon as a game reserve is established, land values go up. The exclusivity of Limpopo-Lipadi is reflected in the amount of shares available and this is an appealing feature to those who are looking for a unique investment.

“Another development in the area has seen returns of 300 percent over 5 years so capital gain on your investment is achievable.”
21km of the banks of the Limpopo River host the game and wilderness reserve Limpopo-Lipadi. With various lodges throughout the reserve, the properties themselves are just a slice of what the project offers. The reserve is an investment opportunity like no other. It is an opportunity to invest money in something tangible and sustainable. From its wildlife to the game ranger vehicles to the various properties throughout the reserve; it’s unique and internationally acclaimed ecosystem model Big Foot, an asset management system, is which the team at Limpopo-Lipadi hope will set the standard in conservation sustainability in the 21st century and Limpopo-Lipadi, in short, provides a safe and rewarding place to invest long term.

Graham Wood is a South African who works in the City and currently resides in South West London. Graham owns property in South Africa but was also specifically looking for something that he could invest in and leave as a legacy for any children he may have in the future.

“The Limpopo-Lipadi project really caught my eye as I am very passionate about the bush. Before I bought my shares, I was really 50/50 on the idea. However after speaking with Alan Marneweck, one of the reserves founders and directors, it soon became apparent that the team was passionate about what they are doing and the positive impact that it had on Botswana as a whole. Their Corporate Social Responsibility outline and overall plans were very impressive and achievable.”

Graham goes onto say: “Each share you buy at Limpopo-Lipadi is the equivalent of 60 hectares of land but this investment is more than just soil, it’s about making a difference. Whether it is the work that the project is doing in local communities or the ongoing preservation of endangered species, this project is a refreshing investment in a time of financial uncertainty.”
As a shareholder in the project you own the game and wilderness reserve which is at an exciting point in its development; you will be able to visit the reserve as often as you like, be part of the decision making process at the reserves AGM and the capital will be used for everything from further land purchase to the development of the lodges and the expansion of game on the reserve. In conclusion, the Limpopo-Lipadi reserve is an opportunity to be in charge of your own investment, allowing you greater control over your money.

So, if you go down to the banks today, you could be in for a big surprise. Instead of a queue of people withdrawing their savings, you will be greeted by a herd of elephants walking tail to tail. Instead of the sound of your thoughts about how the credit crunch will affect you and your family as you go to sleep, you will hear the roar of a lion as it marks its territory and, instead of seeing your money remain fixed, you will see it grow not only as a number but in a very physical and rewarding way.

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