From today the continent’s experts will explore and introduce the audience to current approaches and innovations in planning and designing affordable housing for urban low income earners.

The four-day symposium is coming under the  Shelter Afrique’s 35th Annual General Meeting and Symposium holding in Abuja. During the programme coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, experts will also showcase a range of construction methodologies appropriate for implementing affordable housing for people on low income and explore financing options and structures for low income housing projects.

Story and evidence of a rising middle class abound in Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest cities. However, there is another story: uncomfortable and increasingly often less told. The story of Africa’s urban poor. According to World Bank data on Income Inequality in Sub-Sahara Africa, about 42.7 per cent of the urban population live on less than US$2/day. 67 per cent live on less than US$3.10/day.

Almost universally, housing supply has failed to respond to the need of the urban poor with the cost of new housing including those built by Government Agencies significantly in excess of what this segment of the population can afford. The consequence is the rapid growth of informal settlements, slums on the edge of Africa’s major cities with obvious consequences for economic development, health, safety and security.
As Africa’s primary Housing Development Finance Institution, this challenge presents an opportunity for Shelter Afrique to lead a result focused debate on how the housing market can be made to work for the more than 300m Africans including women and children who with incomes less than US$1/day live in informal and often unsafe homes.