Shelter Afrique leads the charge for climate-resilient housing

Nairobi-based pan-African housing financier, Shelter Afrique, is spearheading an ambitious vision for Africa’s cities, one that champions climate-resilient housing, affordability, sustainability, and enhanced mobility.

At the ‘Integrated Liveable African Cities’ session of this week’s Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, hosted by Kenya in collaboration with the African Union Commission, Shelter Afrique’s Managing Director, Thierno Habib Hann, urged governments across the continent to embrace climate-resilient housing.

Mr Hann also called on governments to initiate incentives that revolutionize the production of affordable homes while minimizing construction costs.

Affordable housing projects

He cited examples of climate change integration in national development plans, stating, “For instance, Kenya considers climate change a cross-cutting theme that is being mainstreamed in the medium-term plans of the County Integrated Development Plans, which inform the country’s development blueprint – Vision 2030.

“Under these plans, the Government has mandated that all affordable housing projects be aligned with Global Green Certification requirements. Recently, Nigeria promulgated the 2021 Climate Change Act, which is the first standalone climate change legislation in West Africa.”

Mr. Hann noted that climate change will affect the socioeconomic development trajectory of Africa and as a result, governments should consider putting in place proper climate-change policies on land use and zoning and provide incentives for developments that are affordable, sustainable, and offer better mobility.

According to Shelter Afrique, governments are also encouraged to offer tax incentives and subsidies to the developers constructing affordable housing units. What’s more, Shelter Afrique is urging governments to reserve public land for affordable housing projects, making it more accessible for developers with a focus on affordability.

Another initiative is by tapping the power of Public-Private Partnerships. By government’s facilitating partnerships between the public and private sectors, this approach will drive the development of climate-resilient affordable housing.

Governments should develop legislative frameworks, tools, and policies that promote climate-resilient affordable housing and urban development, notes Shelter Afrique.

Shelter Afrique’s vision aligns with the imperative of adapting to climate change. Mr. Hann urged stakeholders in the housing delivery and built environment to harness the climate-change policies in their respective regions, utilizing them as platforms to introduce technological innovations that mitigate climate change’s impact on the construction industry.

Read Also: Shelter Afrique eyes 10 more countries in membership drive

Climate-Resilient Housing

Shelter Afrique’s call for climate-resilient housing is not only an environmental imperative but also a means to protect lives and livelihoods from climate-induced disasters while fostering sustainable communities.

The Africa Climate Summit, held from September 4th to 6th, 2023, at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, centered around the theme of “green growth and climate finance.”

The event brought together African heads of state and government, ministers, and United Nations leaders, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his predecessor Ban Ki-moon.

The summit coincided with UN-backed Africa Climate Week 2023, which spans from September 4th to 8th, 2023, in Nairobi.

Shelter Afrique’s impassioned plea echoes the growing global consensus that climate-resilient housing is not just a vision for the future; it’s a fundamental necessity to ensure a sustainable, safe, and prosperous urban environment for all of Africa’s citizens.

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