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The Republic of Guinea is a country in West Africa with a landmass of 245 857 km², and a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It shares borders with six countries, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. With an estimated annual population growth rate of 2.9%, its population rose from 11233 037 in 2016 to approximately 12907 395 in 2021. This population is mainly made up of women (52%) and young people under the age of 35, which together represent 77.4% of the total population.
In 2019, the social housing deficit in Guinea stood at 500 000 units. In recent years, the country has faced an annual housing demand estimated at 47 000 social housing units. Lawless urbanisation and the absence of formal and accessible housing are at the origin of the exponential development of informal housing in the country, especially in the port city of Conakry. The main difficulty for the affordable housing sector is the weakness of the financial capacities of the State and especially that of communities. Indeed, the lack of an appropriate financing system has led to high housing prices.
Fiscal policy in the third quarter of 2020 took place in a challenging environment due to COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, a three-month lockdown period was imposed upon the onset of the disease from 12 March 2020. However, the Guinean economy has been resilient largely based on the response measures taken by the government. As a result, according to the October 2020 framework, real GDP growth is estimated at 5.2% in 2020 against an initial forecast of 3.1%. This level of growth is partly explained by the effects of the successful implementation of the national strategy to fight COVID-19 and by the resumption of activities in all sectors. In addition, the government has maintained its pace of social spending in order to assist the most vulnerable households.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Guinea, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:
- Microeconomic Overview
- Access to Finance
- Housing Supply
- Property Markets
- Policy and Regulation
- Availability of data on housing finance
- Urban Informality
- Additional Sources
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2021 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.Download yearbook
The Republic of Guinea is located in West Africa and covers an area of 246 000km2. It shares a border to the north with Senegal, to the northwest with Guinea-Bissau, to the west with the Atlantic Ocean, to the south with Sierra Leone and Liberia, to the east with Ivory Coast, and to the northeast with Mali. It comprises four natural regions, eight administrative regions, 33 prefectures and 307 sub-prefectures. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the population is estimated in 2020 at 12 559 623 inhabitants, more than half of whom live below the poverty line. Rapid population growth in urban centres, the decline in the human development index, and the lack of effective policy for the construction and housing sectors underlie the main housing problems in the country.
Guinea’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by six percent in 2018 and 6.2 percent in 2019. This rebound has been supported by increased foreign direct investment in the mining sector and some improvement in power generation. GDP growth would have been driven by policies to improve the quality of public financial management, the business environment, the efficiency of the banking system, the governance of the electricity sector, and better value in the mining and agricultural sectors. With the COVID-19 pandemic, GDP growth is now expected to be much lower, at 1.4 percent in 2020 and 5.8 percent in 2021 in the baseline scenario, and -1.8 percent in 2020 and 3.8 percent in 2021 in the pessimistic scenario.
The annual inflation rate was 9.7 percent in 2019 and was expected to be 9.4 percent in 2020 and 6.4 percent in 2021, in a context of prudent monetary policy. The new projections, taking COVID-19 into account, predict inflation in the range of 8.6 percent to 8.7 percent in 2020 and 7.6 percent to eight percent in 2021. However, these projections could be reviewed as the result of possible interventions by the government and the Central Bank of Guinea (Banque Centrale de la République de Guinée, BCRG) to support the economy in response to the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget deficit deteriorated from 1.5 percent of GDP in 2018 to 2.9 percent in 2019 under pressure from subsidies to the electricity sector. It is expected to deteriorate further in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic requires increased social and health spending and budgetary interventions to support the economy. Government revenue will also decline in the face of the general economic slowdown. The tax burden is low, at 12.5 percent of GDP in 2018. This can be explained by a low level of civic-mindedness about taxation, inadequate control, and numerous tax exemptions.
The level of debt, which had fallen significantly from 58.1 percent of GDP in 2011 to 27.2 percent in 2012, rose to 37.2 percent in 2017 and 39 percent in 2018. In 2019, public debt stock was estimated at 45 percent of GDP by the International Monetary Fund, well below the maximum threshold of 70 percent set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). However, Guinea’s debt ratio could increase. This increase would be the result of the budgetary efforts needed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from new loans taken out with China to finance road and energy infrastructure.
The direction of government spending has changed to prevent and reduce the risks of contamination. With this in mind, the government presented a plan to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis estimated at US$370 million (FG3 567 billion). The plan focuses on health, social and economic aspects including support for the recovery of the formal and informal private sector affected by the crisis. The management of the funds was initially assigned to a financial management commission for the response against COVID-19. External aid mobilised is not part of the funds for the government’s response plan.
 National Statistical Institute. Geographical location, administrative boundaries. http://www.stat-guinee.org/ (Accessed 10 August 2020).
 African Development Bank (2020). Economic Outlook for Guinea. www.afdb.org/fr/pays-afrique-de-louest-guinee/perspectives-economiques-en-guinee (Accessed 10 August 2020).
 African Development Bank (2020). Economic Outlook for Guinea. www.afdb.org/fr/pays-afrique-de-louest-guinee/perspectives-economiques-en-guinee (Accessed 10 August 2020).
 African Development Bank (2020). Economic Outlook for Guinea. www.afdb.org/fr/pays-afrique-de-louest-guinee/perspectives-economiques-en-guinee (Accessed 10 August 2020). Pg. 9.
Access to Finance
In the housing finance sector, the absence of a housing bank and specific lines of credit for real estate in the traditional banking and financial sectors do not allow the State—despite its willingness—to meet the growing and urgent housing needs in the country. There is a weak capacity for the national fund for urban planning and housing to mobilise resources to fulfill its mission of financing the development and construction of social housing.
In 2018, the National Investment Bank of Guinea (BNIG) was approved, bringing the number of approved banks to 17, which are currently in operation. Before the creation of BNIG, financing for housing came mainly from personal savings, family assistance, inheritance, the sale of plots, and rental leases. The microfinance sector is also marked by the creation of a new institution, bringing the number of microfinance institutions up to 26… Five institutions dominate it in terms of market share. The deposits collected by these five institutions represent 99.6% of the total deposits, and they hold 99.2% of the sector’s loan portfolio.
Despite the pandemic, the banking sector has remained liquid and solvent, largely due to the private sector. Excess local currency reserves increased by 51% on average, driven by strong growth in deposits (21%) and the reduction in the reserve requirement rate as a response to COVID-19. Although there is a general slowdown in credit, the private sector saw its credit increase by 17% in 2020.In the area of housing finance, no measures have been taken to counter the impact of COVID-19with the BCRG, not reducing its key rate. The lowest interest rate on residential mortgages offered by registered mortgage providers is still 6%. The maximum interest rate is still 20%. The maximum term for residential mortgages is estimated at 25 years. The maximum monthly loan-to-household income ratio for residential mortgage loans is set at 35% of a person’s salary. In other words, lending banks cannot take more than a third of a person’s salary to pay off a loan. Deposits are the main source of loan financing in Guinea.
At the end of June 2021, there was an increase of 39.9% in the number of business start-ups recorded, from 997 companies set up in June 2020 to 1,395 in June 2021. This reflects a resumption of business activities after a global slowdown linked to the pandemic. The increase recorded at the level of banking and insurance activities are also positive. The number of customers in banks increased by 2% in June 2021 against 8.9% a year earlier. At the same time, the number of loans granted by these institutions increased by 23.4%.
 BCRG (2020). List of Banks in the Republic of Guinea. Central Bank of Guinea.
https://www.bcrg-guinee.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/liste-banques.pdf (Accessed 16 September 2020).
 BICIGUI. Real estate credit. Characteristic. Banque Internationale du Commerce et de l’Industrie de Guinée https://www.bicigui.org/particuliers/credits/devenir-proprietaire/credit-immobilier/. (Accessed 15 August 2020).
 Crédit Rural de Guinée. First microfinance institution in Guinea. http://www.creditruralguinee.org/. (Accessed 14 September 2020).
 Addoha Group. Reserve your property from home! http://www.citedouane.com/ (Accessed 13 August 2020).
 Emergence (2020). APIP-Guinea launches its mobile service www.emergencegn.net/lapip-guinee-lance-son-service-mobile-pour-se-rapprocher-du-secteur-informel (Accessed on 17 July 2020).
As part of the social housing construction program, the Statenegotiated with banks for an interest rate of 6% instead of 18%. Housing subsidies, unrelated to mortgages, are in the form of tax and customs exemptions granted to developers by the State. These measures help to reduce the price of housing. For customs exemptions, an exemption period of three years is granted to the real estate company during its installation and/or extension phases. During this period, it is exempt from all customs duties except the RTL, which is 2%, and the registration tax, which is 0.5%, thus representing a total exemption of 2.5%.
Regarding household expenditure, at the national level, the average spending on rental amounts to FG 1925856 (US$ 195.7) per year, while the median expenditure on a rental is estimated at FG 1223193 (US$ 124.3) per year. In other words, half of the Guinean households spend more than FG 1 566 344 (US$ 159.2) per year on rental. Conakry as the main administrative region has the highest costs, for rental and ownership. The capital Conakry records the highest average and median rental expenditure, respectively F2 584 860 (US$ 262.7) and FG2 058 234(US$ 209.2), as well as the highest average and median annual expenditure on housing, respectively FG 3047 399 (US$ 309.7) and FG 2528207 (US$ 256.9). In general, these rental and accommodation expenses increase with the size of the dwelling. As for the average annual household expenditure on housing maintenance, it is estimated at FG 302598 (US$ 30.8). Of all the administrative regions, this expenditure, estimated at FG 461626 (US$ 46.9), is the highest in the Conakry region.
Urban growth is a phenomenon observed mainly in the city of Conakry as well
as in the mining towns, all characterised by the lawless development of space, a
lack of supporting sanitation networks and piped drinking water, and a shortage
of housing. In the secondary cities that have not been affected by urbanisation as
much, housing remains rural in nature, with the exception of administrative
buildings. The growth of the urban population is mainly a result of high natural
increase in population, migration from rural areas, and also the transformation of
the countryside on the outskirts of urban centres. The government has tried to
manage urbanisation for the last two decades through the implementation of a
National Land Use Planning Plan, Master Plans for Town Planning and Urban
Planning, and a Declaration of National Policy for Town and Country Planning.
However, they have largely been unsuccessful.
Concentrated Housing Development Zones (ZACs) have been adopted to meet
the housing need for the period 2017-2021. For the city of Conakry, 310 ha have
been reserved for housing development which will make 1 240 plots available for
residential use in Conakry.
The Guinean government signed an agreement with the United Nations Office
for Project Services (UNOPS) and SHS Holding in July 2020 to build 200 000
affordable housing units for the next ten years.12 All homes that will be built in
partnership with SHS Holdings will benefit from the latest technologies in renewable energy and disease prevention. At least 100 000 of these new homes will be for government employees and will be paid for by monthly payroll deduction from wages and will be located in Conakry.
In September 2020, the Guinean government launched the construction of 10 000
social housing units. This program, financed by the Guinean Agency for Housing
Finance (AGUIFIL), will be implemented by 12 private companies.
Between June 2020 and June 2021, the volume of cement production was estimated at 102 014 tonnes against 87 100 tonnes a year earlier, an increase of 17.1%. In addition, the production volumes of sheet metal (13 982 tonnes) and paint (1 834 tonnes) recorded respective increases of 102.9% and 7.1% against – 85.2% and + 49.6% a year earlier. The construction sector has experienced a growing resurgence of activity in recent years and is a large provider of construction jobs, particularly in urban areas.
The Guinean population faces significant transport mobility difficulties. On average,
29.1% of Guinean households take more than 60 minutes to access the nearest
public transport service. In terms of waste management, 35.6% of households in urban areas use illegal dumps, 24.3% use public dumps, and 23.7% subscribe to waste collection services. The main mode of household waste management in Conakry is through garbage collection (41% of households have garbage collected),13 followed by 30.1% of households using public dumps.
 Xinhauant. (2020). Deficit of 500,000 dwellings. www.french.xinhuanet.com/2019-02/12/c_137814742.htm. (Accessed 15 August 2020).
 Jobomax Guinea (2020). Donation to the urban municipality of Coyah.
UNOPS (2020). Government of Guinea partners with UNOPS and SHS Holdings to build 200,000 affordable housing units. 13 July 2020. https://www.unops.org/fr/news-and-stories/news/government-of-guinea-partners-with-unops-and-shs-holdings-to-build-200-00-affordable-homes (Accessed 13 August 2020).
The property market is marked by insecure land tenure, exclusive housing financing
systems, poor construction quality, and the poor servicing of land. Despite these constraints, the demand for housing continues to increase in Guinea. Together multi-unit houses (40.6%) and single-family homes (37.6%) account for nearly 80% of the country’s dwellings, However, 20.1% of housing is inadequate huts or barracks and only 1.8% of housing is made up of villas. In the capital of Conakry, more than two-thirds of households live in multi-unit houses (65%), followed by single/other houses (29.2%). This densification trend is the same in the other urban centres of the country, with 39.8% of households living in single-family houses and 54.3% in houses.
In general, most rural households own/co-own their homes (64.5%). However, most of these owner/co-owner households are without a title deed (41.6%) with only 22.9% of owners / co-owners having a title deed. 20.3% of households rent accommodation, while 0.5% are housed by their employers and 14.8% are housed free of charge. In urban areas, nearly half of households (49.6%) are tenants, and a third (34.5%) are owners or co-owners of their housing, of which the majority (27%) are owners or co-owners with title or deed of ownership and 7.5% are owners or co-owners without title or deed of ownership. This shows that there is more security of tenure for households in urban areas. The type of housing most in-demand depends on the market. There are generally three types of
houses available, F2 (1 bedroom + 1 living room), F3 (2 bedrooms + 1 living room), and F4 (3 bedrooms + 1 living room).
Currently, the monthly rental for the cheapest newly constructed housing by a developer or formal contractor is estimated at FG2 000 000 (US$203.2). There is no regulation of the rental sector. In Conakry, because of the demand, rental deposits are high, often reaching the equivalent of two years’ rent. Also, rental costs can be increased at any time, with unilateral breaches of contracts being widespread. Tenants are therefore at the mercy of owners and sellers. To reduce this exploitation a Bill to regulate leases for residential use in Guinea was prepared in May 2021.
In urban areas, the price of the cheapest newly built house by a developer or a formal contractor is estimated at FG132 539 415 (US$13 469.1). This is an F3 house (four rooms) with a built area of 93m2.
Policy and Regulation
In 1934 a general regulation was adopted for the construction of houses and for the provision of sanitation and water services to those homes, as well as for road reserves. From 1958 to 1984, the law enshrined the exclusive ownership of the land to the State. It was not until 1986 that Guinea acquired tools for planning and spatial management. These included the National Land Use Planning Scheme (SNAT), four regional land use planning and development plans, an urban development plan for Conakry, ten land use planning, and urban planning master plans for secondary towns and urban reference plans. The land code and the town planning code were also adopted. However, despite the existence of this planning framework, informal practices predominate. Urban areas are more than 50% informally occupied. in. Spurred on by subdivisions, cities are experiencing accelerated urban sprawl.
In 2012, the Guinean government launched a program to provide social housing at affordable prices. To support these policies, four public entities were developed. The National Society for Development and Real Estate Promotion (SONAPI), the Mortgage Guarantee Fund (FGH), the Mortgage Security Fund (FSH), and the National Fund for Housing and Town Planning (FNHU). SONAPI implements social housing development programs. However, there is insufficient capacity in the FNHU to mobilise resources to fulfill its mission of financing the development and construction of social housing.
 World Bank (2020. Doing Business Data. Transfer of ownership. https://francais.doingbusiness.org/fr/data/exploreeconomies/guinea#DB_rp (Accessed 16 August 2020).
To improve the rate of access to housing, the government’s strategy is to partner with all interested parties, under appropriate financial conditions. This represents a real opportunity for the private sector, both nationally and internationally. The creation of a Housing Bank remains a solution that is still relevant today. Using public funds, a housing Bank would support the reimbursement of part of the housing put up for sale by developers, which would reduce the costs. Another opportunity remains in the implementation of large production operations of prefabricated construction methods, for the construction of social and economic housing.
The supervision of self-built housing through the prior development of sites and services devoted to self-construction can be done by private developers through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The State, as the owner and the main shareholder of SONAPI, intends to build housing for applicants in the form of rent-to-own schemes. The rent paid will be used to recover the cost of the infrastructure provision and land.
In order to lower the production costs of housing in Guinea, the government plans to develop construction materials industries in order to promote the use of local materials. This opportunity will also be based on applied research.
The efforts put in place to provide affordable housing to all Guineans represent opportunities for inclusive growth through private sector development, job creation, construction industry development, and diaspora involvement.
Availability of data on housing finance
In Guinea, for the housing finance sector, the BCRG and the National Statistics Institute (INS) are the main organizations that collect and share data. Data collected and published generally relates to the country’s economic growth, inflation, loan interest rates, and exchange rate developments. The data also provides an overview of banking and nonbanking financing systems, and mortgage loans are dealt with marginally.
The National Statistics Institute provides the General Population and Housing Census (RGPH), and often also publishes data on housing and living conditions. Thus, statistical analyses on the types of housing, their occupancy status, physical characteristics, and drinking water supply sources, access to sanitation, household waste management, and
household housing expenditures are produced and published regularly. However, challenges to the data provided are that this data has not been adapted to the real needs of housing stakeholders and covers mostly the formal housing sector.
Moreover, the defined quality standards are still not met, and the data produced often does not adhere to international professional rules. Added to these weaknesses, is the insufficient dissemination of existing data.
In addition to the BCRG and the INS, data on housing finance can be found on the websites and in the reports of certain international institutions such as the African Development Bank, UN-Habitat, the World Bank, and the French Development Agency.
Guinea is gradually urbanising and has undertaken various measures to control land use. With an urbanization rate of 28% in 1990 and an estimated urban population of more than 1.5 million people, in 2019, Guinea accommodates 40% of its population in urban human
settlements. According to some forecasts, it will house 56% of its total population in its urban centres by 2050. This has resulted inadequate, informal housing for most urban households (30 to 60%), which is characterised by precarious construction on sites with or without development and poorly serviced. During COVID-19, the government
made no specific arrangements for residents of these informal areas.
At the national level, boreholes are the primary source of drinking water supply. Most households in Conakry use potable water as drinking water (98.5%). This situation is much the same in the other urban centres of the country with 91.9% of the population having access to piped water. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Guinean households use simply paved
latrines. In urban areas, 33.6% of households have flush toilets. 4.4% of the population use public toilets 4.4% and 0.7% defecate in the open. However, the Urban Sanitation Development Program in Guinea. (SANITA) – Clean Cities- intends to provide sanitation to all those living in urban areas.
 UNDP (2020). National Response Facility. April 2020. United Nations Development Programme. https://www.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/COVID-19-CO-Response/Analyse-multisectorielle-sur-COVID-19-Guin%C3%A9e.pdf (Accessed 1 July 2020).
Central Bank of Guinea https://www.bcrg-guinee.org/
National Institute of Statistics https://www.stat-guinee.org/
AGUIFIL (Social Housing Financing Agency) https://www.aguifil.gov.gn/
African Development Bank https://www.afdb.org/
World Bank https://www.banquemondiale.org/fr/country/guinea
Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. (2019). Initial report submitted by Guinea in the application of articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant, expected in 1990. Pg. 4.
International Monetary Fund. (2020). IMF Country Report No. 20/316.
http://www.imf.org. (Accessed, September 17, 2021). Pg. 5 et 9.
Mamadou Chérif BAH et Mamadouba Alkaly BANGOURA. (2017). RGPH
3 data analysis report: State and Structure of the population.
Jeune Afrique. (2021). Guinea: soon the end of the “rent jungle” in Conakry?
des-loyers-a-conakry/ (Accessed, September 17, 2021).
Ministry of Investments and Public-Private Partnerships. (2014). Sector
Presentation: Construction and real estate. https://www.invest.gov.gn/page/
construction-et-immobilier?onglet=presentation (Accessed July 26, 2021)
Habitat World Map. (2017). Urban growth and the informal sector in Guinea.
https://habitat-worldmap.org/pays/afrique/guinee/ (Accessed September 21, 2021).
National Preparatory Committee Habitat II. (1996). National report.
https://uploads.habitat3.org/hb3/Habitat-II-NR-1996-GUINEE.pdf. (Accessed September 18, 2021). Pg. 29 et 30.
Ministry of Town and Regional Planning MVAT. (2015). Support for the
organization of the General Land Survey and implementation of the Land
Governance Analysis Framework (CAGF) in GUINEA (Conakry).
French.pdf. (Accessed September 19, 2021). Pg. 17.
Comi National Preparatory Habitat III. (2016). National habitat report III.
(Accessed September 14, 2021). Pg. 14 à 16 ; 34.
The world law guide. (2012). Guinean legislation.
https://www.lexadin.nl/wlg/legis/nofr/oeur/lxwegui.htm (Accessed September 20,