This profile is also available in French here.
To download a pdf version of the full 2022 Western Sahara country profile, click here.
Western Sahara lies in the Maghreb desert region, in the north-western part of the continent and bordered by Mauritania, Algeria and Morocco while on the western front it is bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean. The country has a population of 629 873 people living on 266 000 km2 of land however due to the vast expanse of arid land, the population density is extremely low. There is a limited capacity for self-governance which has been a problematic issue over the years for Western Sahara.
There are several disputes over its sovereignty and they stem from a variety of reasons. Post its colonialisation by the Spanish in 1975 there has been further conflict with Morocco and Mauritania laying claim over the territory. Much of the contestation is over its rich resource base worth over and estimated MAD5.4 billion (USD$500 million) as well as lucrative the fisheries and phosphates as a mining resource.
In terms of housing and infrastructure, there is need for urgent action to upgrade housing from tents and mud bricks, to more durable, low carbon footprint materials. With regards to water and sanitation there is a need for adaptation measures based on water harvesting, storage and efficiency are urgently needed including the construction of additional reservoirs and systems for channelling and capturing runoff and small-scale domestic water harvesting and groundwater abstraction systems. This is dependent on the conflicts being resolved as well as funding from the international community. Major developments in the housing sector have been carried out and funded by the Moroccan government. It is difficult to access housing data, including mortgages and land prices, which poses a challenge for the housing sector, resulting in a largely undeveloped housing market.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Western Sahara, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability , click on the sections below:
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2022 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries and territories.Download yearbook