YAOUNDE, June 25 — African housing ministers have designed a 40-year plan of action to invest in affordable housing initiatives on the continent.
The resolution was made at the end of the Shelter Afrique’s general assembly in Cameroon’s capital city of Yaounde on Thursday evening.
“Yaounde meeting permitted housing ministers to look at each other face to face and say the truth. The housing industry will create lots of job opportunities for the continent if we have the right investment,” Celestine Ketcha Courtes, Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development who took over the chairmanship of the assembly from Kenya told reporters.
The continent is facing a rapid urbanization rate which is increasing the demand for housing units, officials said.
“The exponential growth of people moving into cities is not measured up to the available accommodation, and African governments do not have the money to construct the required houses. That’s why we need to continue working with the private sector,” Daniel Garwe, Zimbabwean Minister of the National Housing and Social Amenities told Xinhua.
“Land is very critical in affordable housing, and acquiring land in Africa is very challenging and cumbersome. What we are doing in Ghana is to acquire land, sell the land, give it out to investors then we look at the funding, financing, and marketing aspects through mortgage financing,” added Freda Akosua Prempeh, Ghana’s Minister of State for Works and Housing.
One of the resolutions stressed the need to use local materials in the construction of infrastructure, James Wainaina Macharia, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development told Xinhua.
“Supply chain from material all the way to labor has to be local. Without focusing on local production, the house construction cost will be very expensive and there will be no jobs,” he added.
The four-day Shelter Afrique assembly also agreed to boost research in the field of habitat and set up financial mechanisms.
“We’ve achieved financial viability and made a profit in 2020, and our financial sustainability is now showing our relevance to our shareholders. We are convinced that every country that is contributing to Shelter Afrique will be able to obtain loans to fund its projects,” said Andrew Chimphondah, Managing Director of Shelter Afrique.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Shelter Afrique is a Pan-African finance institution that supports the development of the housing and the real estate sector in Africa.