From September 12 to 17, CAHF hosted its second French edition of the Affordable Housing Finance in Subsaharan Africa seminar, in the Dakar Pullman Hotel.

The seminar brought together stakeholders of the housing sector in the region such as representatives of the housing ministries of 8 different UEMOA countries, representative of banking institutions and members of State owned Senegalese entities focused on housing.

29 participants showed up during this 6 days event, participated in courses presented by 17 different speakers, either professionals in the sector or teachers. The week was divided between pure theory courses (about financing schemes, construction materials, affordability, current landscape of players, best practices…), workshops (how to build a sustainable affordable housing model on the supply and on the demand side,…) and onsite visits. On their first day, participants were introduced to the Diamniadio program in Dakar’s suburb and went through the housings built there and the logistics behind it. On the last day, they were brought to an eco housing material plant created by the NGO UrbaSen.

The participants were extremely engaged during the week, either through their questions or experience sharing with the speakers or during workshops. They all showed interest and high curiosity, also to interact with each other. We hope the course will not only create knowledge, but also strong relationships across sectors, ministries and borders.

The main takeaways of the week, were the highlighting of the bottlenecks of the current system, but also of alternative solutions in the financing. Bottlenecks are for instance the inefficiency of land titling, but also the lack of state infrastructure, the need for more tax incentives, the high developers’ margin or the lack of stakeholders alignment. Alternative solutions like tenant purchase scheme were raised, while recognizing that most countries currently lack the legal framework to do it. The idea of channeling savings towards housing and decentralising the housing investment strategy were also addressed. 

Next year, the seminar aims at bringing together more participants, including more developers and constructors to complete the landscape of housing. As a matter of fact, discussions about the impact on the local construction sector and how to boost it through housing should be more addressed.

This year’s seminar was mainly see as a great success across the different countries involved and discussions about an economic housing value chain study in Senegal are already on their way with the local ministry and the World Bank. For next year, CAHF aims at finding a robust local partner to host the seminar and propose a relevant curriculum based on the existing one. We’ll be working toward this in the next months with our current consultants.

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