The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) is the housing finance division of FinMark Trust, a non-profit trust with a mission of ‘making financial markets work for the poor’. The vision of CAHF is to be a primary source of information and debate relating to affordable housing finance in Africa, with a special focus on the SADC region. Our work covers three main areas: understanding the housing asset, innovation in housing finance, and monitoring housing sector performance. As a way to promote housing finance sector development in Africa, CAHF regularly commissions research studies; hosts forums; strategy and discussion sessions and workshops; and participates in local and international conferences and debates on housing finance. As a result, the Centre has become a credible source of information, thought leadership, and a point of contact for housing finance practitioners in both the public, private and NGO sectors, including private companies, donor agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders across the African continent. The Centre also provides strategic and secretarial support to the African Union for Housing Finance.
FinMark Trust is a non-profit independent trust, funded primarily by the UKaid from the UK Government, and established in March 2002. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’. It does this by conducting research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of research findings. Thus, FinMark Trust plays a catalytic role, driven by its purpose to start processes of change that ultimately lead to the development of inclusive financial systems that can benefit all consumers. An important tool developed by FinMark Trust is FinScope, a national representative survey of individuals’ perceptions and usage of financial services undertaken now in 15 countries in Africa. FinMark Trust’s Trustees are Cas Coovadia (Chair), Prega Ramsamy (CEO), Ethel Matenge-Sebesho, Ishmael Mkhabela, and Esau Nebwe.
Kecia Rust is the coordinator of FinMark Trust’s Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa. She is a housing policy specialist and has worked with both public and private sector practitioners in promoting access to affordable housing and housing finance in Southern Africa for the past 20 years. Kecia is particularly interested in financial inclusion as it relates to housing finance and the functioning of affordable property markets across Africa. Kecia Rust holds a Masters of Management degree (1998), earned from the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand. She obtained her Bachelors Degree with Distinction and Honours in International Studies (1990), from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, where she was a Morehead Scholar.
Olga Koma is a graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand, and is a Researcher with FinMark Trust’s Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree and an honours degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Her honours thesis investigated the use of technology within three urban settings in Johannesburg. Her current interests are urban studies, African cities discourse, economics, housing and, information and telecommunication technologies within cities.
Lorraine Nzimande is a Researcher and Consultant with Finmark Trust’s Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Africa. She has an honours degree in Urban and Regional Planning (town planning) from the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Architecture and Planning. For her honours degree, she wrote a thesis on the management challenges of informal markets in Johannesburg. She was enrolled in a Housing specialisation in the Town Planning Course and amongst her interests are urban histories, economics and sociology.
Adelaide Steedley is the coordinator of the Affordable Land + Housing Data Centre, within FinMark Trust’s Centre for Affordable Housing Finance. As coordinator, she is implementing a new web-based dashboard (CityMark) to entice the development of affordable housing in South Africa, using innovative geo-located indicators that will provide a much more detailed understanding of neighborhood markets. Adelaide brings over 20 years of affordable housing and development experience, working with public and private sector partners at the local, regional and national levels across the United States, in ways to entice more efficient development of affordable housing.