The Africa Economic Summit Group has announced the first roundtable in the series planned for the Future of Africa Project which is slated for 20th September in Abuja, Nigeria.
The project initiated by the Africa Economic Summit Group, a United Kingdom based international organisation, and committed to the growth and competitiveness of the African continent is a two-year long journey to harvest the finest of thoughts by Africans on the future they want for their continent.
Announcing the roundtable, the CEO of the Group, Dr Brian Reuben, said that the roundtable which will be held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja Nigeria was planned to design a framework for a liveable, sustainable, resilient, and affordable housing for all in Africa.
Dr Reuben noted that Africa is a diverse continent with roughly 1bn people, 54 countries and thousands of languages with many of its economies facing similar challenges. ‘A common obstacle African markets face is a shortage of affordable housing.
Kenya has a housing gap of approximately 2m homes, for example, while more than 12m people in Egypt live in informal buildings. In Ghana the gap is reportedly 1.8 million and Nigeria 20 million homes. This problem is not particular to Africa but high GDP expansion, limited job creation, strong population growth and rapid urbanisation, its acuity in African economies is more pronounced, he said.
The Africa Economic Summit Group boss further noted that by the year 2040, for example, the continent is expected to have the largest workforce in the world, and African cities and towns will see consumer spending exceed $2trn. But to foster and sustain high economic growth – and the positive factors that come with it – African markets will need to improve the fundamentals of their housing sectors. While the specific features of local real estate markets and regulatory regimes vary significantly across the continent, from Cairo to Accra, chronic housing deficits, a lack of funding and an affordability gap are common throughout the region, he added.
The Future of Real Estate Roundtable series is a part of the Future of Africa Project designed to provide a vision and action-oriented roadmap for rethinking our approach to buildings and urban life.