ABC 21 has recently released a report (D2.1) analysing the housing needs, urbanisation trends and construction practices in most African and European countries.
In Africa & Europe, though with quite different economic and social background conditions, the demand for housing remains high while the supply remains limited in quantity and often inadequate in quality. Large parts of the housing stock suffer from poor thermal performance.
The large housing deficit in Africa can be viewed as both a huge challenge and a tremendous opportunity to implement adequate and energy-efficient building designs and expand economic activity to create new jobs.
In Europe, the energy quality of housing has been addressed in terms of regulations for newly-built stock. However, improvements are still needed, particularly for summer comfort and energy use in a warming climate. The pace of renovation of existing stock is far beyond necessary to meet climate protection. The issue is beginning to emerge in Africa through new building codes incorporating energy efficiency standards, low carbon materials, incentives, and more.
Construction shows different faces in Africa and Europe. In Africa, self-building plays an essential role as an affordable and quick way to access shelter and property. In many cases, self-builders do not hire an architect (80% of cases in countries like Senegal). Construction carried out by a qualified company remains very limited. The sector is yet to be consolidated and structured in Africa.
What appears as a fact in Europe and Africa is that urbanization problems result in housing deficits for city dwellers. The social housing formulas experimented with elsewhere in the past have proven to be ineffective to satisfy the housing needs of most people. Financing access to housing remains a significant problem for Africa and Europe. Government, community, and associative initiatives are very diverse, but each has its limits.