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Affordable Housing is Key for African Development, Habitat for Humanity

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The Habitat for Humanity Africa is set to host the inaugural Africa Housing Firm that seeks to foster solutions that aim at promoting low-cost and affordable housing as it pushes on a drive of economic growth in Africa.

The forum is part of a global series of regional housing forums organized by Habitat for Humanity in collaboration with partner partnering organizations.

Themed Fostering Inclusivity and Resilience in Housing in Africa, it will be the first-ever housing forum organized in the continent by Habitat for Humanity and a major impact will be felt by African nations in the push toward achieving a solution to the issue.

Turning out a key milestone just before the pivotal UN 9thAfricities Summit, this forum will inform renewed action toward sustainable, affordable housing in Africa.

Mr. Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, while welcoming the key stakeholders said he welcomes policymakers and key stakeholders in housing and infrastructure development from the continent to engage under one roof in order to attain a lasting solution to affordable housing.

He added a vote of thanks to Habitat for Humanity Africa for choosing Kenya to be the host of this event. Since it is notable that this is the first-ever event of its kind in Africa, which genuinely means that Kenya is gaining recognition globally as a leader in innovative solutions that foster affordable and decent housing.

Recommending how the Government has prioritized the issue of housing to foster inclusivity and economic growth in Kenya under the “Big 4 Agenda”.

The Kenya Government has been working with partners to alleviate the housing challenge that the country faces.

“Initiatives like the Africa Housing Forum are important for African nations that face similar infrastructure challenges,” added PS Hinga.

Analysis of the current state of housing in Africa highlights the urgent need for solutions in building and construction that are quite sustainable and inclusive.

The housing deficit in Africa keeps getting huge and continues to grow with about 238 million people living in informal settlements.

Land tenure also continues to be a challenge, especially in the informal settlements this will need proper diplomacy and structuring of terms and policies to accommodate the diverse margins of cultures and challenges faced.

In order to offer the housing solutions to a major percentage that suffer from this major challenge.

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Maurice Makoloo, Habitat for Humanity Africa Vice President says, “The Africa Housing Forum aims at seeking to consolidate solutions for the housing challenges that African countries face. We will focus our discussions on the role of housing in driving the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in a more sustainable, climate-change responsive, and inclusive way that brings together housing sector stakeholders from the continent. We welcome all the industry leaders, stakeholders, and government agencies to be part of this important event.”

Maurice Makoloo

According to UN-Habitat, research indicates that 50% of sub-Saharan Africa will be living in towns and cities by 2030, primarily due to huge population growth that has been compounded by rural-urban

migration.

This has brought about a huge shortage of housing, in terms of both quantity and quality, contributing to a proliferation of slums and informal dwellings being a major part of livelihood for most persons who are middle class and below.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that access to adequate housing is indeed a front-line defense mechanism against contagious diseases.

For instance, when ‘Stay home, save lives’ became a global mantra to contain COVID-19, many low-income and vulnerable families already suffering from housing poverty saw their living conditions substantially worsened, challenging, one filled with struggles and culminating in the loss of some lives that would have been saved.

Till now, three regional forums have been held, the first being hosted in Latin America and the Caribbean in May 2021. The other two were held in Europe and Asia-Pacific in November and December of 2021, respectively.

These are platforms for sharing and challenging ideologies that can be put in place in order to assure that housing and a basic need for shelter are offered to each and every family.

The forums aren’t laid out in solving the issue partly or regionally rather its gratification will be for families even in marginalized areas affording the comfort of a home.

Its hereby a call to all stakeholders, investors, and citizens too, if possible, attend, and air their views and thoughts on means by which affordable housing can be achieved with impartiality and accorded the transparency needed as this will be the main path to curbing the problem.

Africa with this chance has to step up and attain the full potential that’s bestowed on its people.

Through empowering her people by offering the basic needs such as Housing, Food, access to fresh safe water, proper medical care, and a well-predetermined education system.

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