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How to build 500m affordable African homes

Housing a continent

How to build 500m affordable African homes

Decades after independence, millions of Africans still do not enjoy decent housing. Onyekachi Wambu introduces a special report that brings together experts and critical stakeholders in the African affordable housing ecosystem to provide insights on how to tackle the crisis facing the African housing market.

At Independence, the expectation for most Africans was that they would enjoy political rights, which would in turn ensure that they would create just societies and successfully run economies where they could enjoy employment, good education, healthcare and decent housing.

However, as we know, the continent is facing crisis in all of those areas. The focus of our special report, Housing a Continent, is on decent, affordable homes, with the drift from the country to cities and Africa’s rapid demographic growth driving demand. According to UN-Habitat, a billion more Africans will be living in cities by 2050.

Millions are currently living in growing urban sprawls without access to water, sanitation and other social amenities. Market failure is compounded by government inaction and individual initiative is hampered by lack of access to mortgage products and other finance.

This special report coordinated by AFFORD brings together a number of experts and critical stakeholders in the African affordable housing ecosystem, who provide insights on how to tackle the crisis facing the African housing market.

The aim is to identify the key barriers and challenges, offering proven solutions and models, learning from best practice, while also exploring new innovative solutions to tackle the multiple barriers that result in market failure. The contributions cover a wide number of topics which are discussed under the following headings:

The social and economic importance of housing

Global and pan-African policies for housing initiatives

New financing options for affordable housing

New building design and other innovations

Public, private and diaspora partnerships

The role of technology

To access the articles in the report, visit the Housing a Continent webpage.

Onyekachi Wambu is Executive-Director of the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD)

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Written by Onyekachi Wambu

Onyekachi was educated at the University of Essex and completed his M.Phil in International Relations at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He worked extensively as a journalist and television documentary. He edited The Voice Newspaper at the end of the 1980s and has made documentaries and programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS.

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