WAEMU area: Towards the promotion of affordable and decent housing for all social strata

The Housing Center of Excellence (CEH) in partnership with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and Bank World is hosting the first training session on real estate development in Ouagadougou from June 20 to 25, 2022. The aim of WAEMU is to strengthen the knowledge of professionals in the urban land and housing sector with the aim of promoting affordable and decent housing for all social strata in the eight countries.

Providing affordable and decent housing for the population of UEMOA space, an approach that points to the Center of Excellence for Housing (CEH). To succeed in this mission, the Center has benefited from the support of UEMOA and the World Bank.

To this end, the CEH found it useful to bring together field experts for a week to equip professionals in the urban land and housing sector. It aims to improve sector knowledge in each WAEMU country through applied research, which makes it possible to identify good practices at the sub-regional level.

Participants in the first CEH real estate development training session

Facing difficulties in real estate development

In his welcome address, Prof. Abramane Sora, Director of the Higher Institute of Population Sciences (ISSP) at Joseph Ki-Zarbo University, recalls various issues that are weakening the sector. These include the expansion of “slum” and “spontaneous housing” areas, the lack of basic equipment and infrastructure, the inadequacy of decent and affordable housing and the high cost. But environmental degradation and pollution.

“Lack or inadequacy of statistical information on housing, lack of experience of actors involved in the coordination of housing programs, low capacity of private sector for large scale housing and unquestionable quality are all encountered by WAEMU countries,” said Professor Abdraman Sora.

P. Abramane Saura, Director, Higher Institute of Population Sciences (ISSP)

The director of the ISSP also noted the pressure and the numerous recorded land disputes, the poor service of cities in various ways and networks, without ignoring the inadequate supply of education and health infrastructure.

Interpolation of urban land and housing professionals

Among the problems mentioned, professionals in the sector often criticize decision makers for neglecting their skills. “We have virtually the same problems across the WAEMU space when it comes to real estate development. And unfortunately there are a lot of problems that we are facing. At the level of formation of teams at the core of an urban planning project or housing project, we realize that professionals, such as architects, town planners, surveyors, etc., are sometimes called directly after everything is decided, ”laments architect Femi Hinson Yovo, who participated in the training. 6 came from Benin to take

Architect Femi Hinson from Yovo, Benin

According to him, professionals in this sector should be invited to the discussion round table following the example of the work session where he participates but they should be consulted before making any decision on the structure of urbanization. This is to enable politicians to explain the real needs of the population at this level, he pointed out.

“In the context of urbanization, we often find that initiatives are taken and even led by leaders. However, it is clear that after the implementation of these initiatives, there is a dilemma between the real needs and the proposals that have been put forward, “said Yovo, the architect.

CEH option

To reverse this trend, WAEMU, with the support of the World Bank, has launched a technical assistance project in community space (PFLA-UEMOA) to finance affordable housing. Through this initiative, UEMOA seeks to register its activities in the long run by establishing a Housing Center of Excellence (CEH) for the sub-region.

The aim is to improve the knowledge of the housing sector in each member country through applied research, which makes it possible to identify good practices at the sub-regional level. For Mahaman Sanosi Amadou, Acting Director of the Cabinet of Commissioners in charge of WAEMU’s Community Territorial Development and Transport Department, the project contributes to strengthening research capacity in the land and housing sector.

His Excellency Mr. Sanosi Amadou, Acting Director of the Cabinet of the Commissioner in charge of the Community Territorial Development and Transport Department of WAEMU

“Such capabilities will be essential for the dynamism of the sector and its major limitations,” he stressed. Initiating the implementation of this melting pot of CEH knowledge, Mr. Amadu wanted to see it as part of a dynamic process of performance management, with a focus on achieving rapid results. Based on capacity building, promotion of affordable housing and access to secure land.

To achieve this goal, the CEH says it has already compiled a list of 86 indicators, of which 41 are priorities based on affordable and five key elements of decent housing. These include housing and urban land markets, households’ ability to access housing and land, housing conditions and access to basic services. However, governance and control of housing and urban land, financing of housing and urban land.

CEH consists of ISSP of Joseph Ki-Zarbo University in Fasor, Burkina Faso, Graduate School of Applied Economics (ESEA) of the University of Czech Anta Diop in Senegal, and the United Nations Habitat for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat).

Hamed Nanema


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