The less trodden path to second citizenship.


For Africans wishing to obtain second citizenship, Citizenship by Investment offers an attractive route. The concept was pioneered by the Caribbean islands St Kitts and Nevis, which remain one of the world's premier destinations for investors wishing to follow this route.

Within the past decade, officially recorded global remittances are said to have doubled. In 2009, amid the bleak prospects of the global crisis aftermath, they amounted to $317bn, according to the World Bank records. Forecasts for 2019 expect global remittances to reach $667bn. The latest figures indicate that Nigeria is among the top five countries worldwide in attracting remittance inflows from its diaspora.

Nonetheless, this global economic force remains largely untapped, with a quarter of global remittances having potential to be reinvested productively back home. Moreover, it is said that an average of 8.96% is shaved off in transfer costs to sub-Saharan Africa, while the industry remains generally unregulated in the whole of Africa. But this is about to change. New rules to protect African investors are being developed as we speak, with support from the British and French governments in particular. The aim is to encourage the African diaspora to invest sustainably in their home countries, which would also yield benefits for local entrepreneurs, as well as healthier growth for the recipient economy. The long-term vision is to raise the living standards of developing countries and reverse the brain drain as much as possible. Furthermore, the time for impact investing has never been more suitable in Africa. In the meantime, however, the reality is that immigration of a wide spectrum of income earners is higher than ever before.

This trend is supported by a survey conducted last year in South Africa by London-based legal advisory CS Global Partners, whose experts specialise in citizenship and residence by investment. The key findings of their research suggests that two thirds of South Africans are actively considering second citizenship, citing turbulent political and economic environment in the region as the main driver.

A staggering 97% of participants said that they would like a second citizenship, with 70% saying they would be willing to relocate if they had a second passport. The need for an alternative citizenship in order to move abroad is said to be motivated by their concern with their family's future, according to 60% of interviewees, while half said that a...

To continue reading

Request your trial