Why your next statement purchase will come from Africa

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The majority of sales from Africa's lucrative modern art market take place outside the continent

London's 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair sees the debut of new galleries based in Africa want to change this

CNN  — 

There is a new international scramble for Africa happening but this time it is not for lucrative geographical territories but its modern art.

Investment in the right pieces can see a 10-fold increase in their future value – leading to a plethora of international galleries vying to represent its artists.

While reports of Africa’s growing middle class art collectors abound, of which there is, in reality 80 per cent of sales in African art still come from international collectors mainly in the US and UK.

Something that art fairs such as 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair - which opened yesterday at London’s Somerset House – has capitalized on.

Individual prices at last year’s fair reached almost $70,000.

When 1:54, named after the 54 countries that make up the African continent, launched three years ago, it did so to just one wing of the 16th century house. Today, the fair takes over the entire building, a testament to the show’s increasing popularity.