Africa needs USD1.4 trillion to tackle housing crisis

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Workers finish a newly constructed exclusive housing community called Kagarama Estate on November 8, 2014 in Kicukiro outside Kigali, Rwanda. The country is one of the fastest growing economies on the continent and new hotels, shopping malls, gated communities are being constructed around the city.

 

Shelter-Afrique-CEO-Andrew-Chimphondah picture courtesy

According to the projections from the UN-Habitat, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050.Today 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

It is against this background that Shelter Afrique says Africa needs more than USD 1.4 trillion in funding to address the growing housing crisis.

The Pan African housing development financier said majority of African countries were already facing housing crisis as a result of population explosion, increased urbanization, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements, and underdeveloped financial systems.

“Research from our Centre of Excellence (CoE) shows that the overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated now to be 56 million housing units. Out of this, more than 90% (or 45 million units) are in the affordable housing bracket.  This means that for Africa to fully address the issue of affordable housing shortage, at an average construction cost of USD 25,000 per unit, the continent requires at least USD 1.4 trillion excluding the cost of the bulk infrastructure; and we believe that this is substantial,” Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah said.

Additionally countries with growing housing deficit include Nigeria with a deficit of 22 million housing units; Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo with a deficit of 3 million units; and Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar with deficits of more than 2 million.

He said Kenya for instance requires in excess of USD 50 billion (Ksh5 trillion) to adequately address the issue of affordable housing. However this calls for a focused political leadership.

Mr Chimphondah further adds that the solutions can be found in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

He was speaking in Nairobi after the Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), which will see HFHI assist Shelter Afrique in mobilizing capital for affordable housing.

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