July 16

Analysis: A Kenyan Home of One’s Own

By Roger Atwood

With its gleaming skyscrapers, central Nairobi has been remade by a commercial building boom employing thousands of workers and offering the most visible sign of one of Africa’s fastest economic growth rates.

Yet Kenya faces a critical housing shortage. The country has a housing backlog estimated at 1.85 million units. Rising expectations for home ownership among its middle-and lower-income sectors–the skilled workers erecting all those skyscrapers, the thousands of office workers staffing them, among others–have unleashed demands for new and better housing and cheaper financing to purchase it.

Kenyan banks and builders have barely begun to meet the demand on their own. So, in 2017, the Kenyan government set housing as one of its four main development priorities or “pillars,” setting an ambitious goal of building 500,000 affordable units by the end of 2022, mainly through public-private partnerships.

Photo courtesy of Ninara.

Source: IFC (link opens in a new window)

business development, financial inclusion, housing, infrastructure