By Nii B Andrews

On numerous occasions prospective clients for contemporary African art (CAA) have enquired, “is this piece a good investment; will it appreciate in value and by how much….and how soon?”

Clearly, there is a need for collectors and or investors to understand the fundamentals and dynamics of the art market.

The global art market has an annual value of $63 billion with a 12% year-on-year increase. Africa’s share in this huge market is probably below 0.01%.

THE PAST IN THE BACKGROUND: Oko Matey, mixed media – discarded tropical rosewood and paint, 120 x 110 cm, 2018.

What else is new? As always…

Meanwhile, there is a significant upward trend in the value of CAA.

But it cannot be denied that there also exists an influential group with the means (economic and or institutional) to dramatically increase the value of whatever they are interested in or choose to highlight.

Therefore, a successful collector must be knowledgeable and passionate.

There is absolutely no substitute for education and research, legal services, acquaintance with secondary markets as well as storage and insurance of art works.

ANCIENT WAVES: Oko Matey, mixed media – discarded tropical rosewood and paint, 77 x 99 cm, 2018.

Important collectors and investors in CAA are certainly not mutually exclusive subsets.

Gaps exist in the CAA market infrastructure that need to be filled and will be filled by enterprising and forward looking players.

The consensus though is that if you have the means, and are in any way attracted to CAA, a good time to buy is now.

IN THE MIND OF A CHILD: Atwereboanda Asamoah, 161 x 190 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015; signed, titled and dated- left .

In summary, the CAA market is still in its early stages of development.

A synergy of collectors and or investors will certainly accelerate its growth.

It might well be preferable if this were to occur from within Africa or is significantly influenced by African players.


  1. All always the pieces and narrative are very well presented and it’s a great feeling to know you are there and championing the cause.

  2. Thanks for this informative article, however, which artists with potential should we now begin to consider? Who is hot? Who is not?

    1. Things do change in the art world. At certain times particular artists may or may not be considered “hot”.

      The most useful position is to immerse yourself in the art world by visiting museums, galleries and art festivals. That way you can develop your own (individual) aesthetic sense.

      Then the best advice will be to purchase or collect the pieces that speak to you….the pieces that you like and can live with.

      Thanks for your support.

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