In its latest annual report, Shelter Afrique’s Chief Operating Officer, Alfred Nicayenzi said Tanzania joins Kenya and Nigeria as rapidly growing urbanisation countries on the continent. Nicayenzi said in the report that urban areas across Africa currently account for over 472 million people, and the numbers are expected to double over the next 25 years.
“Furthermore, these urbanization trends are taking place alongside a significant housing deficit across Africa with the shortage in Kenya and Tanzania estimated to be at 2 and 3 million units respectively,” he said.
He said Nigeria is expected to add an estimated 189 million urban dwellers between 2018 and 2050 which will further contribute to significant housing shortage if investment is stalled. “With 2030 approaching, it is pertinent that we evaluate the possibilities of achieving the SDGs, particularly those directly related to housing provision,” he added. SDG 11 states, “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.”
Considering the exponential population growth rate across African cities and the ever-growing need for decent and affordable housing in the region; the development and implementation of sustainable, and inclusive affordable housing delivery strategies has become even more pertinent, Nicayenzi stated.
Two areas are key to addressing Africa’s housing challenges; expanding access to, and the supply of affordable housing facilities and climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. In Burundi, 12.5 percent of the adult population have access to financing services, and only one percent in South Sudan.
Additionally, as of 2010, an estimated 85 percent of Africa’s urban population were unable or ineligible to secure formal housing loans, according to UN-HABITAT. “Thus, expanding access to affordable housing finance to those at the bottom of the pyramid is critical to achieving the goals of sustainable development; As indicated in SDGs 1, 4,5,8 and 10 which focus on zero poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities respectively,” the SHAF COO added.
Meanwhile as he housing finance institution marks 40 years since establishment, CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Chemphondah said the number of members has increased from 17 countries to 44 plus two institutional members, namely; Africa Reinsurance Corporation and the African Development Bank.
“Our centre of excellence, a more recent and much-needed addition to the organisation, estimates that since its inception Shelter Afrique has been responsible for over 22,673 projects,” Chemphondah said adding that in 2020, the financier delivered 5,101 housing units, housing 25,505 individuals which translates to 15,303 direct jobs and 20,404 indirect jobs created. “This is the real way we impact livelihoods and improve the quality of life in Africa,” he noted.