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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) covers an area of 2 344 858 for approximately 84.2 million people.
The Congolese financial system is growing but remains fragile and operates primarily through the Congolese central bank (BCC). The financial sector comprises 17 licensed banks, a national insurance company, the National Social Security Institute, one development bank, Société Financière de Development, a savings fund, 102 microfinance institutions and cooperatives, 72 money transfer institutions which are concentrated in Kinshasa, Kongo Central, North and South Kivu and the former Katanga provinces, three electronic money institutions, and 23 foreign exchange offices. There is no secondary equity or debt market.
Financial inclusion is increasing, but substantial progress is needed to develop payment systems, facilitate the use of financial services, and strengthen regulation of the non-banking sector. Consolidation and strengthening of microfinance along with reform of the insurance and pension sub-sector could facilitate the expansion of financial services and attract long-term investors.
Access to affordable and sustainable housing is almost impossible for low income earners due to a lack of low-cost housing supply and low wages. Both the duration and interest rates for housing loans are restrictive.
Housing demand in the DRC outweighs housing supply, and the backlog is estimated at 3 945 555 houses countrywide.Kinshasa alone has a housing deficit estimated at 54.4 percent of the overall national deficit, i.e. an average of 143 092 houses to be built per year.
Worth noting is that the DRC government does not have any housing support programme specifically targeted to support or subsidise low income households to access housing; therefore, the property market is solely left to the private sector.
DRC, a country with the size of a subcontinent, has enormous potential in various sectors that deserve to be converted into real wealth. The country has been divided into 26 provinces with a view to economically developing each of them. It is believed that housing development and delivery will be among the major projects needed to improve the newly established provinces.
DRC has many areas to be exploited throughout the country; in each province, land dedicated to the construction of social housing exists; housing demand is strong compared to supply; and a significant market share exists for new construction companies and investors in the sector.
Furthermore, the government has put in place urban land reform strategies, which consists of construction in specialised economic zones and agricultural-industrial parks across the country. Through land reform, the government wants to achieve equitable and reasonable urban space planning that promotes equitable resource distribution between regions and production sectors as well as to streamline urban development without neglecting rural development. This is encouraged, inter alia, through the allocation in each province of specific areas dedicated to the construction of social housing.
Lastly, recent initiatives launched by local banks and microfinance institutions, such as PEPELE Mobile (Trust Merchant Bank), FINCA Mobile, ProCredit Cash Express, etc. as well as the establishment of new private equity companies, promote financial inclusion and provide more housing finance opportunities and options.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:
- Access to Finance
- Housing Supply
- Property Markets
- Policy and Regulation
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2018 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 54 African countries.Download yearbook