Dangiwa Charges Africa’s Ministers on Tackling Continent’s Housing Challenges

•Harps on innovative housing financing to ensure affordability

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has urged African housing ministers to work collaboratively to address the continent’s pressing housing development challenges.

The call to action was made during his opening remarks at the opening ceremony of the 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Shelter Afrique Development (ShafDB), in Kigali, Rwanda, according to a statement from his spokesman, Mark Chieshe.

In attendance at the opening ceremony were the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, represented by the Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, Ministers of Housing and Public Works from several African countries, organised sector and private sector players.

Stressing the importance of innovative financing, Dangiwa who is the 42nd  AGM Bureau Chair of the bank, underscored the crucial role of ShafDB as Africa’s premier housing finance institution.

 “ShafDB is Africa’s housing finance bank, the only such institution that we have. It is therefore important that we all continue to give the bank all the support that it requires to grow, scale in impact and deliver on its mandate,” he said.

He highlighted the necessity for continued support to the bank to enable it to scale its impact and deliver on its mandate of providing affordable, decent, and quality housing across Africa.

As part of efforts to institutionalize partnerships, the minister unveiled plans to launch a Financial Caucus of African Ministers of Housing and Urban Development during the AGM.

The platform, he noted, aims to foster synergy, share experiences, and develop innovative measures to bolster housing development across African nations, e emphasised.

 “The African housing problem is for Africa to solve. And we as Ministers of Housing must recognise that we are the ones responsible for providing the solutions and driving the process towards fixing Africa’s housing challenge,” he said.

Dangiwa also highlighted the critical role of the housing industry in achieving climate ambition and sustainability targets in the face of climate change. He called for a commitment to upholding the laws and statutes governing ShafDB.

Yesterday, being the second day of the event, Dangiwa called on African Ministers of Housing to embrace innovative housing finance solutions to address Africa’s growing housing affordability crisis affecting the 80 per cent of African population.

This he said is important given macroeconomic challenges and rising inflationary trends which have impacted incomes and raised the bar on housing affordability.

Dangiwa highlighted Africa’s housing deficit and the housing affordability crisis affecting over 80 per cent of Africa’s population, driven by low incomes, challenging macroeconomic conditions, and escalating living costs.

He underscored the critical need for affordable housing solutions targeting low and medium-income households, who are most affected by the economic pressures.

“These factors make it increasingly difficult for our citizens to afford decent and quality housing. With each passing year, the affordability bar keeps getting higher.

“Many households that could afford housing a year ago can no longer do so because of rising cost of building material and static incomes. I am worried about this because I believe that for us to make impact, we must find ways to design, build and facilitate delivery of affordable houses targeting the 80% of the low and medium income percentile of our population,” he noted.

Drawing on his experience as the former Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN),  he shared successful initiatives implemented in Nigeria.

These initiatives include utilising government funds to lower housing costs, engaging sub-national governments to provide land free of charge, and creating expandable housing units that can grow with homeowners’ needs and financial capacity.

Additionally, he highlighted the role of public-private partnerships (PPP) in facilitating collaborations with reputable developers to build affordable homes, incorporating cross-subsidy models to offer some units at subsidized rates.

Furthermore, he highlighted efforts in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance to establish a N1 trillion concessional financing window for developers and leveraging pension funds to provide single digit mortgage loans were presented as key strategies.

Dangiwa stressed the necessity of shifting traditional financing models towards more innovative solutions tailored to Africa’s unique contexts.

These, he said, include: Empowering low-income families with manageable loans for home improvements, unlocking capital markets to inject liquidity into the housing sector, and expanding access to credit, among others.

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