Africa’s rapidly developing economies and cities offer tremendous opportunities, and challenges, for housing development and investment. Urbanisation rates in Africa are the highest in the world, and positive growth over the last decade has put many countries in a position to assertively address the housing situations of their populations. While the mortgage sector remains small, developments in many countries suggests that this is changing.Housing practitioners across the continent are beginning to grapple with and understand the opportunities available and are developing precisely targeted products and projects. Their work begins to chart pathways for new entrants into the sector, and this will contribute towards the growth of the housing sector across the continent. Governments, too, are recognising the integral role of housing in overall economic growth, and are addressing the regulatory and policy constraints to housing investment, opening up further opportunities for growth.
To showcase and promote these opportunities, the African Union for Housing Finance and the Housing Finance Programme of the Bank of Tanzania have joined forces to offer a conference with the theme “Growing Housing Opportunities in Africa: Encouraging Investment and Growing the Market”.
It is fortuitous to offer the conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development and the Bank of Tanzania are working together in a partnership with the World Bank, and with the private sector, to grow housing opportunities in a focused way. Tanzania’s experiences in growing its mortgage market and promoting the delivery of affordable housing, while also actively addressing the market where mortgages cannot go, will be showcased. The experiences in Tanzania will be of particular interest to other countries exploring the potential of a mortgage liquidity facility, or who have already ventured on this path and wish to consider alternative approaches to the concept. The first day will focus on ways to encourage investor interest, through the development of sustainable investment models, the collection of data and the development of lender track records.
The focus of the second day is on growing the market through the development of niche market interventions and products that meet the breadth of the housing need. The day starts with a showcase of successful developments in progress – delegates will be invited to choose four, of up to ten projects, which will be presented simultaneously in a “housing developments marketplace”. This is followed by a session exploring different ways in which the needs of the low-income population can be served – from the provision of micro-mortgages through to sustainable housing microfinance. The different examples offer housing practitioners useful insight into opportunities for their own growth and development.
This conference will enable delegates to define their own role in growing housing opportunities in Africa. Whether delegates are government officials, investors, developers, lenders or members of civil society, the conference will offer each participant useful insights and evidence for promoting housing in their own local contexts.
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