Several investors including many from Africa prefer taking a second citizenship in the European Union countries because of the opportunities availed there.

James Bowling, the Chief Executive Officer of Monarch & Co International, experts in residency and citizenship investment programmes, says most of those interested in securing dual citizenship can benefit from five major areas: lifestyle and financial hedging, unrestricted travel, tax breaks and family security.

Bowling’s disclosure comes ahead of the Investment Agenda, a forum where leading investors and other stakeholders will converge in Johannesburg on October 20 to assess the ‘prevailing economic and political environment in Africa and its impact on investment in 2016’.

The theme for this year is ‘No man is an island’ and according to Bowling, the countries that offer the best residency or dual citizenship packages for investors include Antigua & Barbuda, Cyprus, Grenada, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, St Kitts & Nevis, the UK and the USA.

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“In light of this conference, Monarch & Co International emphasizes the value of dual citizenship, especially for Africans wishing to take advantage of the opportunities within the continent and abroad. Holding the passport of another country can open opportunities for business, education, healthcare and visa-free travel for investors and their families,” Monarch & Co International says in an October 5 release by the Africa Press Organisation (APO).

The company says that only around 1% of the world’s population has two or more passports, ‘making dual citizenship an exclusive privilege’.

“While in the past it was only possible for people to attain dual citizenship through their ancestry or emigration, many countries have now made it possible for applicants to gain residency or citizenship through various investment programmes without ever having to emigrate,” the release adds.