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February 24, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

Housing microfinance (HMF) has its origins in microfinance lending. One important aspect of microfinance lending that HMF utilises is group lending. A group of individuals, often with social ties, bands together for social and economic support, and microfinance and HMF leverages off such groups to facilitate lending. This is why. Groups provide additional or alternative forms of security, as repayment of loans is a joint liability. This works because group reputation is at stake and future access to credit for members depends on individuals paying off their loans. Social pressure is brought to bear on individual borrowers by members of…

February 21, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

As proponents of affordable housing finance and housing microfinance (HMF), we often feel that it does not get sufficient attention in financial inclusion discourse. This feeling was rekindled when I browsed through the recently released Tanzania National Financial Inclusion Framework. It had no mention of affordable housing finance, while products such as micro-insurance, pensions, and even investment in securities are included as indicators of financial inclusion. There is mention of credit of course, along with savings, transactions and insurance, all key contributors to inclusion. Maybe housing finance is subsumed under the broad “credit” category. Either way, housing credit certainly deserves…

February 3, 2014 by Olga Koma | No Comments

South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) launched their 2014 election manifesto this month.  The promises the ruling party is making for the next five years of government are based on a longer policy conversation, the roots of which can be found in the April 2012 National Development Plan (NDP), which detailed the developmental vision of national government. Essentially the NDP is centred on 5 core pillars: Economic Development, Infrastructure Investment, Rural Development, Environmental Sustainability and Human Settlements. As I have mentioned in a blog written back in 2012: “The plan sets out three areas of focus for future policy reform:…

January 30, 2014 by Tony Olowoyeye | No Comments

Understanding the dynamics of housing needs and demands is a major challenge Africa has to overcome in order to meet the continent’s housing supply shortfalls and, alleviate social and economic underdevelopment prevalent on the continent. Over the years, housing has evolved from the traditional methods of building with bricks and mortar into a housing system. And like any system, housing has an impact on the economy, infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, the financial market, living standards, and the health and wellbeing of a nation. In addition, housing stores and distributes a nation’s wealth and is a major driver of the economy….

December 10, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments

The Minister of Finance in Zambia recently delivered his national assembly Budget Speech for the 2014 financial year. With a robust economy measured at 7.3% in 2012 and projected to increase to 7.8% in 2014, the minister sees this economic growth as a chance for all Zambians to also benefit from the growth. The total budget proposed amounts to US$7.6 billion which makes up 30.7% of total GDP, of which 1.5% will be directed towards Housing and Community Amenities.  The housing deficit is estimated at 1.3 million units countrywide which means that 130 000 units must be delivered annually over…

December 6, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments

Zimbabwe’s financial sector has remained resilient besides slowing GDP growth in recent years. Notwithstanding the country’s highly developed financial sector (16 commercial banks, 3 building societies and about 150 microfinance institutions), financial exclusion persists. FinScope’s 2011 survey found that 40 percent of the population were excluded from formal and informal banking. The current housing deficit in Zimbabwe is estimated at 1.25 million units, and housing supply has been made a priority by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. A social National Housing Policy was adopted in 2012, highlighting mass housing projects specifically aimed at low income earners. The…

November 28, 2013 by Aysha Dawood | No Comments

Mamelodi is a township located about 20 km from Pretoria, one of South Africa’s capital cities. It was developed in the early 1950s with 16 homes for black people who were removed from their homes during apartheid homes and now has a population of over 1milion. My tour guide was Dr. Mark Napier of Urban LandMark. The housing structures varied by material type and structural stability. Dr. Napier informed me that despite appearances, people continue to save money on their own to improve their homes. They often purchase small materials or scavenged materials to incrementally build at whatever capacity that…

November 28, 2013 by Aysha Dawood | No Comments

While in Dar es Salaam, my bajaj driver, Oscar, took me and another Rooftops Canada intern Marc Mainville, through his local informal neighbourhoods. We visited the Tandale area, a high density community nestled between Dar’s city centre and its suburbs.     Located by the river, this area was evidently unplanned as most of the homes were not accessible by road, and the pedestrian pathways were narrow and often required going through another person’s property.   The shelter stock within the settlement were very different. From access to services and sanitation to the actual housing construction, I learned that informal…

November 25, 2013 by Allan Kundu | No Comments

Doing Business is a flagship product by the World Bank and IFC that garners worldwide attention on regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship. Annually, economies are ranked on their ease of doing business – 189 are included in the 2013 index. This index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 11 topics that relate to regulations affecting areas of everyday business activity: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits, Getting electricity, Registering property, Getting credit, Protecting investors, Paying taxes, Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts, Closing a business, Employing workers. Accordingly, a high ranking on the Ease of Doing Business index means the regulatory environment…

November 20, 2013 by Aysha Dawood | No Comments

A few weeks ago I was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and met with local experts in affordable housing and housing microfinance. No two meetings were alike and some were actually a bit contradicting. Let me take you through: WAT Human Settlement Trust My first meeting was with Ayubu Mbwambo from WAT Human Settlement Trust.  WAT-HST has an overall goal is to assist low and middle income groups, particularly women to have access to adequate and affordable housing and secure tenure. They work in jointly with WAT-SACCOS, whose objective is to improve the standard of living of its members; provide…