I am looking to possibly buy a studio apartment in the Port Bouet area of Abidjan to let on a daily basis. It is close to one of France’s largest military bases in Africa, making it a good place to stay for westerners concerned about safety and political turmoil. Or at least that’s the idea and how it worked out during the anti-French riots in 2004.
It is however difficult to foresee exactly how things will work out in the future, so investment decisions will have to be taken at some degree of uncertainty. Clearly not thinking through or not reasearching an investment properly is a danger, but trying to answer every single “what if” can be a waste of resources and time, especially in a not so stable and fast changing business environment.
If I get a good price on the Port Bouet studio I’ll go for it, given that it passes a few due diligence checks. One of which is to check that the lady who is selling it to me is really the owner, and to do this:
(1) the title document provided by the seller needs to be checked against the land registry and
(2) a photo id of the seller should match the seller in person, and the name on the photo id should match the land registry
That’s how it is to make business in a low trust environment. The extra checks are actually not that costly or complicated, but they take a little time though, as they can’t be done by phone or email. One needs to to go to the ministry of construction where the land registry is located and queue there until one gets access to the requested information.