Shelter Afrique, a Pan African housing development financier, has implored stakeholders in the built environment to put more emphasis on addressing climate change, describing it as one of the most pressing challenges of our era. Shelter Afrique Managing Director, Thierno Habib Hann, said Shelter Afrique shares the goal of fostering sustainable and responsible housing practices for a more resilient future. He made these remarks at the Zambia EDGE Discovery Workshop – organized by Shelter Afrique, in partnership with IFC EDGE and the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development, Zambia –
“The adverse impacts of climate change on our societies, economies, and environment are undeniable. Today, we stand united to explore innovative solutions, particularly in the realm of green and sustainable housing, that can mitigate these challenges and promote resilience,” said Hann said.
Shelter Afrique collaborates with IFC to deliver EDGE Discovery Workshops to developers and other stakeholders in the housing industry across Africa, to accelerate the development of resource-efficient affordable housing.
Zambia’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development, Professor Albert Malama, said climate change is already having major impacts on the built environment across the continent and globally. It’s therefore critical that stakeholders in the built environment in Zambia work together to promote green building practices and foster sustainability in the housing and built environment industry.
The Program Lead for IFC EDGE Green Building Market Transformation Program for Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, Dennis Quansah, who facilitated the training, urged African governments to provide incentives for green building projects.
“To speed up the transition, governments can provide tax incentives, expedited permitting, bonus density, grants & loans, technical assistance, proper legislation, and public campaigns,” Quansah said.
To achieve EDGE certification, the housing units will have to demonstrate resource efficiency of at least 20 percent in energy, water, and embodied energy in materials.
“We view EDGE as a mark of value that will shape and grow demand for our sustainable housing communities in Africa. In addition, living in an EDGE-certified home benefits the homeowner and their family through significant savings in utility costs,” Hann said.