Housing Finance in West Africa


The most recent regional profile for West Africa is from 2019, and is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the 2019 West Africa regional profile, click here.

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is a regional organization of eight West African countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

As a result of decentralization and democratization, cities are emerging from rural areas and capital cities are undergoing modernization, with a number of infrastructure projects under way. Other projects include industrialization and transportation; housing remains a priority with each member state driving an ambitious housing program. The current economic dynamism of the union is an asset for modernizing the construction and housing sectors of the economy. Reforms in the financial sector and business environment also serve to promote the mortgage and the market.

The housing finance market in UEMOA is under-developed. Few long-term mortgage vehicles exist; those that do belong to government. Only a few of the member countries have mortgage banks.

Despite the union’s economic growth, affordability is still a challenge and depends on each country’s economic environment. The population of the union is estimated at 110 million; approximately 43 million live the extreme poverty line and have little or no capacity to finance their homes

Other methods of doing business in the country are still dominated by incremental, self-construction and informal entrepreneurship. Most of the supply is produced by informal entrepreneurs. Some of the upper-middle class can use government and private developers. On the whole, the middle and the middle class live in residential zones, while the poor live in slums. Little data on the stock of houses in the union is available.

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