In the Ivory Coast, international banking organisations have come together to study ways of financing housing schemes for the African Continent.
In the Ivory Coast, international banking organisations have come together to study ways of financing housing schemes for the African Continent. The problem of providing adequate shelter is growing as rapidly as the rural and urban populations, and the African Development Bank Group has set up a working party to study building investment.
SYNOPSIS: The Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan, is the "economic miracle" city chosen by the African Development Bank as the venue for its working party conference.
Several Western banking institutions are represented and delegates have heard the Vice-President of the African Bank, Mr. Kodock, say that the housing shortage throughout the Continent is growing year by year, while many countries have insufficient funds to counter the problem.
The Ivory Coast is one of the more affluent African states. Intensive construction work has turned Abidjan from the small town of 1960, when the country gained independence, into a regional metropolis of one million people.
The skyscraper city continues to develop, with modern apartment blocks and villas. But these buildings are mainly for the minority at the top of the Ivory Coast's civil service and business life. For many of the population, however, life is at subsistence level in the countryside.
The African Development Bank is now studying whether an African Housing Finance Corporation can be established and whether sufficient capital can be mobilised. The bank is encouraging African countries to adopt realistic housing policies, recognising the needs of all income groups. The working party hopes to have its feasibility study completed by May next year, so that a concerted effort on African housing can at last begin.