Ad­dress­ing the House Short­age in Africa

Hous­ing the New Africa: Chal­lenges and Op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Fu­ture JAMES J MUGERWA, By Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Shel­ter Afrique

Diplomat East Africa - - Table of Contents -

FThe New Africa

ifty years into in­de­pen­dence for most coun­tries on the con­ti­nent and it is very dis­cernible, there is a new Africa. From news­pa­per stands to the news ban­ners on ma­jor in­ter­na­tional news net­work, there seems to be the same com­pelling nar­ra­tive, Africa is ris­ing. Gone are the years of con­flict, strife and hunger, the con­ti­nent has moved for­ward and is find­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to deal with their prob­lems; a clear ex­am­ple of that is mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy is be­ing used to as­sess and halt the spread of the Ebola out­break in West Africa.

With the new Africa comes the new African; the African who is more in­formed, who un­der­stands and uses tech­nol­ogy, the African who has many more choices and op­tions, the African who isn’t limited to Africa and the African who is more in­ter­ested in self-suf­fi­ciency and liveli­hood than con­flict and for­eign aid. The chal­lenge for the fu­ture will be pro­vid­ing ser­vices and a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for this new Africa; key among th­ese will be shel­ter.

Not so few suces sto­ries

Sto­ries of suc­cess and growth are be­com­ing more com­mon­place on the con­ti­nent, in ev­ery sub-re­gion there are clear in­stances that can be sin­gled out for commendation, in­stances like Rwanda that has turned from its painful his­tory to an econ­omy that has grown at an av­er­age of nearly 8 per­cent over the four years. Rwanda also hap­pens to be the lo­ca­tion of our am­bi­tious pi­lot project Ru­garama; a sus­tain­able in­te­grated com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment in as­so­ci­a­tion with the City of Ki­gali and the De­vel­op­ment Bank of Rwanda; the ob­jec­tive of which is to de­velop a high den­sity hous­ing es­tate with over 2700 units for mid­dle- in­come to lower in­come earn­ers.

Ivory Coast is another fine ex­am­ple of how the con­ti­nent is turn­ing a new cor­ner, once mired in a con­tentious elec­toral process, the coun­try has re­turned to sta­bil­ity and is steady on its way to re­cov­ery with many forecasts pro­ject­ing stronger than ex­pected re­sults from the West African na­tion. We suc­cess­fully floated a bond for the FCFA re­gion in the first quar­ter in Ivory Coast which was over­sub­scribed by 163 per­cent and we ex­pect that Ivory Coast will un­lock even more op­por­tu­ni­ties in the New Year.

Many more ex­am­ples and case stud­ies ex­ist of how coun­tries on the con­ti­nent are im­prov­ing and grow­ing; cer­tainly there are pos­i­tive signs and in­di­ca­tors from more coun­tries like Nige­ria, Kenya, Botswana and Ghana to men­tion a few. Beyond that how­ever Africa is be­com­ing more self-re­liant, in a study con­ducted by Ernst & Young it was re­vealed that In­tra-African in­vest­ment is gain­ing mo­men­tum. African in­vestors nearly tripled their share of FDI projects over the last decade, from 8 per­cent in 2003 to 22.8 per­cent in 2013.

We are also wit­ness­ing the rise of the mid­dle class on the con­ti­nent which many see as the driver of growth and in­vest­ment on the con­ti­nent; sus­tain­ing growth on the con­ti­nent may mean find­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices that cater to ex­pand­ing mid­dle-class. We at Shel­ter Afrique can cer­tainly at­test that de­mand for hous­ing prod­uct re­mains the most ap­par­ent from the mid­dle-class and be­low.

With a pros­per­ous Africa and an ex­pand­ing mid­dle class, a pop­u­la­tion boom and rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion are also ex­pected. It is

James J Mugerwa Shel­ter Afrique, MD

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.