The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Chinese multinational construction and engineering company, CITIC, have launched a $300 million investment platform – CITIC Construction (Africa) Holding Limited – to provide affordable housing in some African countries.

The platform will partner developers and provide long-term capital to develop 30,000 homes over next five years. IFC estimates that each housing unit will create 150,000 new jobs on the continent.    The IFC-CITIC Construction platform promised to work with local housing companies to develop affordable housing projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, each ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 units.

CITIC Construction has a proven track record in constructing and delivering large scale housing projects. It will start by developing homes in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda expanding to other countries.

Chairperson, CITIC Construction, Hong Bo, said: “In Angola, through planning, financing, construction and post-construction, CITIC Construction has completed the 200,000 units housing programme, new city of Kilamba Kiaxi, with relative infrastructure and utilities in four years. CITIC Construction has also founded the CITIC BN Vocational School in Angola, which helps youths acquire the skills they need to become professionals. CITIC Construction will take advantage of our engineering experience and delivery capability to develop more affordable houses for Africa through the platform with IFC.”

IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Oumar Seydi, added: “As Sub-Saharan Africa becomes more urbanised, the private sector can help governments meet the critical need for housing. The platform will help transform Africa’s housing markets by providing high quality, affordable homes, creating jobs, and demonstrating the viability of the sector to local developers.

Furthermore, he said IFC will work with financial institutions to support mortgages and housing finance that will allow people to purchase the units.

“The new housing units will be constructed in accordance to IFC’s green building standards, delivering homes that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.”

To date, IFC has invested over $3 billion in housing finance in over 46 countries. It focuses on regions where many people live in sub-standard housing and have limited access to credit to build, expand, or renovate their homes.
Source : The Nation