From September 14 to 16, 2016 the housing sector will once more take centre stage of national discourse as Nigeria plays hosts to a gathering of experts and practitioners of housing and housing finance from across the continent and the rest of the world to deliberate on the state of the sector, proffer solutions for its growth to unlock its multiplier effects on national economies.

This is because the African Union for Housing Finance, in partnership with the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company will host its 32nd edition of its Conference and Annual General Meeting at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Centre here in Abuja. The African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) is a55 – member association of mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations and other organisations working on the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent, with the overarching goal of promoting housing finance on the African continent.

Its annual Conferences and Annual General Meetings are highly in-demand platforms for brainstorming and knowledge sharing on developments in the sector on the continent, for identifying new housing investment opportunities, generate new business, and promote related products and services.

The    Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) is honoured to have been selected as local hosts for this year’s Conference. NMRC is a private sector-driven mortgage refinancing company with the public purpose of promoting home ownership for Nigerians by raising long term funds in the capital market to provide affordable housing finance to Nigerians. Its vision is to be the dominant housing partner in Nigeria, with a mission to break down barriers to home ownership by providing liquidity, affordability, accessibility and stability to the housing market in Nigeria.

NMRC is working with other local partners such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority to ensure a very successful outing for the Nigerian housing sector at the Conference.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, will deliver the keynote address on Day One of the Conference, while the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun will headline the plenary on Day Two, including a unique housing investment marketplace.

Other expected  Speakers include housing finance experts from Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, and from others like India, China, and Brazil. These will be complemented by institutional level representatives of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the China-Africa Development Fund, and UN-HABITAT.

The Conference will host a not-to-be missed Housing Investment Marketplace, which will connect development finance institutions, investors, and housing practitioners, offering the opportunity for face-to-face meetings to discuss possible affordable housing finance projects and initiatives. Investors already registered to attend the marketplace include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), China-Africa Development Fund, UK CDC, Lion’s Head Global Partners, Cantor Fitzgerald LP and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

There will also be a Housing Microfinance Academy, hosted by LafargeHolcim in partnership with AFD, the French Development Agency, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).The Housing Microfinance (HMF) Academy is part of a series of events organized by LafargeHolcim to enhance HMF availability for low/middle-income people around the globe. So far, over 100 financial institutions on 4 continents have joined the Academy. It contributes to LafargeHolcim’s ambition to make affordable housing accessible through innovative solutions.

Expected outcomes from the Conference include a clear roadmap for the sector in Nigeria moving forward from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, strong investment leads for greater affordable housing finance and provision in Nigeria, an Africa regional roadmap for the successful integration of housing finance into the urban agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)to be presented at the upcoming Habitat III Conference in Quito Ecuador, among many others.