This year’s African Union for Housing Finance Conference under the theme ‘Engaging the Housing Value Chain for Growth,’ has brought together key players in Africa’s housing and housing finance industry.
The conference taking place at Kampala Serena Hotel was called to chart a way for the betterment of housing across the continent. The Chief Guest and Key note speaker was Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who represented President Museveni.
Focusing on the key links in the housing value chain, the conference has brought together financiers, developers, professionals and policy makers from over 25 countries to deliberate on the challenges and explore available opportunities.
Co-hosted by the African Union Housing Finance and Housing Finance Bank Uganda, the conference will conclude with a Kampala Declaration setting out key issues for attention to engage the housing value chain for growth across the African continent.
In a speech read for him by the Prime Minister, Dr Rugunda, President Museveni said holding dialogue on housing was critical in the social economic transformation of Africa.
“This dialogue highlights the commitment and continued efforts of my government towards the growth and prosperity of our country and demonstrates the cordial relations we enjoy with partner states across Africa,” said the President.
Mr. Museveni noted that increase in population presents a new set of challenges that must be addressed in order to capitalize on this growth opportunity.
“Government has committed to recapitalise Housing Finance Bank and the National Housing and Construction Company to ensure that more Ugandans have access to mortgage finance and affordable homes in well planned neighborhoods,” Museveni said.
He said some of the challenges that must be addressed include the proliferation of unplanned human settlements which lead to the mushrooming of slum dwellings and shortage of professionals in the housing sector.
“We have digitised our land registry and strengthened the legal frameworks for land tenure to enhance and recognize the rights of our citizens on the ownership and use of land,” said the President.
According to the UN Habitat, Africa has been urbanizing at a rate of 3.5 percent per annum over the past two decades.
Uganda is urbanizing at a rate of 5% per annum and it is estimated that by 2050, Uganda will be among the most urbanized countries in Africa.
The State Minister for Finance in charge of planning David Bahati, noted that Africans must find solutions to African problems.
Stakeholders across the continent in the public and private sector, are yearning to intervene meaningfully and sustainably in the housing space, to harness the growth potential. However, this will only be realized if key sector players come together and address these challenges in a concerted manner.