Affordable housing, Urbanisation and housing finance critical for socio-economic development of Africa

Affordable housing, Urbanisation and housing finance critical for socio-economic development of Africa, according to speakers at the opening of 43rd Annual General meeting of Shelter Afrique Development Bank’s (ShafDB) 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

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This article is sponsored by ShelterAfrique

The three-day meeting is being held from 11 -13 June, 2024 on the theme “Sustainable Partnerships in the affordable housing finance value chain”.

While opening the meeting, Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente, said, “Africa is facing a major challenge of urbanisation and access to affordable housing. There is therefore need for citizens to have access to affordable housing to promote socio-economic development on the continent.”

He highlighted the importance of housing finance and partnerships between government, private developers and financial institutions to address these challenges.

“By optimising partnership and effective cooperation, we can together establish sustainable housing solutions. Developers should therefore participate in affordable housing projects on the side of the government to attract investors and provide affordable housing to the citizens,” said Mr. Ngirente.

Echoing his remarks, incoming ShafDB AGM Bureau Chairman, Jimmy Gasore and the Minister of Infrastructure, Republic of Rwanda said sustainable partnerships in affordable housing financing in Africa are key to addressing the challenges of access to affordable housing in Africa.

He cited rapid urbanisation, a growing population, substandard construction and a lack of housing finance as major challenges access to affordable housing on the continent.

Mr. Gesore stressed the importance of collaborative efforts between public, private, civil society, financial sector actors to address these challenges and ensure sustainable solutions to inclusive development.

Shelter Afrique Managing Director, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann, emphasised the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing Africa’s housing crisis with a focus on sustainable development, financial stability and organisational stability.

“We are acutely aware of the global and regional challenges that include demographic changes, economic uncertainties, and climate change. However, these challenges also present us with opportunities to innovate, adapt and emerge stronger as the only Pan-African institution dedicated to financing the housing sector,” said Dr. Hann.

“The global institutions and development partners should take a role in supporting Africa’s housing development for a comprehensive approach to achieve strategic goals.”

ShafDB, he said, aims to achieve financial sustainability through reorganisation and strategic initiatives with a focus on scalinng up affordable housing efforts through partnerships and innovation.

Additionally, he said the bank is transforming into a dynamic development bank to expand operations and mobilise funds for climate resilient housing projects and SMEs in the rural sector.

He discussed the development of an affordability index to assess the level of affordability for different countries and the importance of strengthening the institution’s capacity base by raising capital through shareholders’ contributions and expanding the shareholder base and capital growth.

The outgoing 42nd AGM Bureau Chairman for Shelter Afrique, Ahmed Dangiwa, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria expressed his gratitude for support in growing Africa’s growing housing finance institution.

He emphasised the need for a collective action among African countries to address housing challenges including affordable housing, sustained economic growth and strategic planning.