Africa’s 54 countries have a total population of 1.34 billion, projected to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Fuelled by migration to urban areas in search of economic opportunity, approximately 44% of Africa’s people currently live in urban areas. There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing, giving rise to many informal, insecure and insanitary settlements.

Housing is  at the core of nation building and unless the deficit  is tackled in a sustainable and cost-effective way, it will create lasting social problems and restrict development. With access to new technologies, the opportunity exists to build sustainable, affordable housing at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

At HAG, we have adopted a definition of affordability of 30-35% of a household’s net income for housing payments, which normally permits the purchase of other basic necessities  including food, clothing and children’s education. 




Definitions of Affordability

The importance of housing to well-being and progress cannot be overstated. It is obvious that inadequate housing or a complete lack of it has a direct negative impact on all aspects of an individual’s life, and by extension, their family’s lives. Read More


As we transition to the Africa we want (AGENDA 2063), we need to discard the practices which haven’t served us very well up till now. The provision of housing in urban centres has been left largely to “market forces” (speculative developers), and is now a commodity to be built, bought and sold for large profits. This favours the wealthy few, however there is a mismatch between the “bottom line” profit motive of speculative housing providers and the needs of the wider society, especially lower-income earners.Read More

Impediments to Affordability

Approximately 55% of urban dwellers in Africa live in informal housing or slums, as defined by the United Nations, characterised by a lack of clean water, electricity, adequate sanitation facilities, sufficient living area, housing durability, and security of tenure. Read More


Achieving the housing and sustainability aspirations of Agenda 2063 requires us to adopt innovatively sustainable materials and efficient construction methods – thermally superior fire-retardant and cost-effective alternatives that also drastically reduce dependence on mechanical air conditioning.
Materials and systems such as prefabricated, panelised rapid-construction components including SIPs panels and lightweight concrete panels which have been in use for over 70yrs in other parts of the world, as well as timber framed construction using fast growing plantation timber.
This will generate many new manufacturing and material supply industry jobs and contribute to the reduction of the 36% of global waste and 46% of C02 emissions produced by traditional building methods