Housing takes centre stage at international investors conference

At the recently hosted Invest in Namibia 2016 conference, both the Head of State President Hage Geingob and Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, placed emphasis on breaking the barrier to ‘affordable housing and property development opportunities’.

The housing and property development sector was selected as one of the key sectors to be showcased at the two day conference held in Windhoek on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Safari Conference Centre.
With mass housing at the centre of Government initiatives, it was decided by President Hage Geingob that it be given special attention in the light of investment.
“We are aware that deficits remain in our socio-economic architecture. These include access to decent shelter and sanitation. This presents an opportunity to investors, and we hope that there will be matchmaking between Namibian and international entrepreneurs on these important matters,” Geingob added.
In her address Minister Shaningwa stressed the importance of a common understanding of what is meant with ‘affordable housing’, stating that the goal is to meet the needs of lower and middle income households essentially in a developing nation where the majority of the population cannot afford houses at market prices. “We are here because we have a shared interest, which is that the housing backlog is a challenge that can be addressed through joint action and it represents an investment opportunity. Globally, urban areas are major drivers of economic growth. However, in Namibia urbanisation is not accompanied by the level of per-capita economic growth. In general terms, this gap represents huge opportunities for investment in the various sectors of Namibia including housing and property development and manufacturing of building materials,” commented Shaningwa.
The conference’s main goal was to attract foreign investment and to market the country as an attractive investment destination under the theme: “promoting investment for inclusive growth and industrialisation.” A platform was created to showcase a pipeline of targeted investment projects in sectors such as: housing; agriculture; energy; logistics and infrastructure; manufacturing and tourism. This innovative event was spearheaded by the Namibian government in co-operation with Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. The conference was also a first year priority set as part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Minister Shanginwa will be present at a ground breaking ceremony in Walvis Bay today, to hand over erven to contractors to construct prototype mass housing units, based on municipal designs and specifications.

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