HOUSING ministers in Africa have resolved to invest in affordable housing across the continent. The resolution was made at the end of Shelter Afrique general assembly in Cameroon’s capital city of Yaounde.
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. The institution rallied housing and finance ministers from more than 40 African countries to chart a course for Africa’s real estate sector.
The ministers have designed a 40-year plan of action to invest in Affordable Housing in Africa initiatives. The move follows rapid urbanisation rate which is increasing the demand for housing units in Africa.
‘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,’ said Celestine Ketcha Courtes, Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development who took over the chairmanship of the assembly from Kenya.
‘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,’ said Daniel Garwe, Zimbabwean Minister of the National Housing and Social Amenities.
‘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.
James Wainaina Macharia, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development stressed the need to use local materials in the construction of infrastructure. According to him, supply chain from material all the way to labour has to be local. Without focusing on local production, the house construction cost will be very expensive resulting to lack of jobs.