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Francis Asenso-Boakye Calls for Increased Investment in Housing to Drive Economic Growth in Africa

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The Minister for Works and Housing in Ghana, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has urged African countries to prioritize investment in the housing sector as a means of driving economic growth across the continent. According to the Minister, investing in housing development can create job opportunities, boost local economies, and promote economic growth. He emphasized that African leaders need to refocus resources on housing development if they want the sector to play a significant role in helping Africa emerge from the current global economic slowdown.

For the most part, the Minister called on African governments to make more funding available to the housing sector through their respective Ministries of Finance. He also urged them to source long-term financing, as is done in Europe and other advanced economies, to provide affordable housing that meets the needs and financial capacity of citizens.

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The Nigerian Finance Minister, Hon. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, revealed that the Ministry of Works and Housing in Nigeria receives the second-highest budgetary allocation, after the defence ministry. This is an indication of the Nigerian government’s prioritization of the housing sector, and she urged her fellow Finance Ministers on the continent to follow suit.

In a nutshell, the Minister also supported the call by the Housing Minister for Nigeria, Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola, for Africa to adopt credible data in housing and use it for decision-making. He cited Ghana’s 2021 Population and Housing Census, which revealed that about 12% of houses in the country are currently unoccupied, as the prices of these homes are above the means of low- to middle-income earners. He called for a change in this narrative and emphasized the need for affordable housing to be made available to all.

Shelter Afrique, a pan-African housing and development finance institution, has been instrumental in promoting the development of the housing sector across Africa. The organization provides financing for a wide range of housing and urban development projects and offers technical assistance to governments and other stakeholders in the housing sector to support the development of policies and regulations.

Investment in the housing sector is critical to Africa’s economic growth, and African leaders need to prioritize it. Providing affordable housing can create more job opportunities, boost local economies, and promote economic growth. It is time for African governments to make more funding available to the housing sector and to source long-term financing to provide affordable housing that meets the needs and financial capacity of citizens.

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