Dr Kwame Addae-Dapaah

Urban Housing Affordability Problem in Africa: A Search for Pragmatic Solution?

Dr Kwame Addae-Dapaah's paper takes a holistic view of the housing affordability problem to discuss the multifaceted nature of the problem vis-à-vis the political, social, institutional, economic and financial milieu of Africa.

Dr Kwame Addae-Dapaah talks to Bartlett Alternative on his Paper titled 'Urban Housing Affordability Problem in Africa: A Search for Pragmatic Solution?' (Photo credit S. Lever, 2022)

A holistic view

The paper reviews the definitions of housing and housing affordability and analyses relevant secondary data obtained through archival research and google search to propose pragmatic measures for resolving the problem in the context of the socio-economic, cultural and political milieu of Africa. It concludes that the enormity of the problem is a function of, among others, the vested interest of the power brokers who are profiting from it; the market; the unwitting application of western models to Africa; poverty; and the sheer neglect of time-tested African means of affordable housing delivery by the housing policy makers of Africa.

A major fascinating finding is that the people can build themselves cheap houses that no-one (including the government, international bodies, aid donors and especially the market) can do for them. All they need is help with infrastructure provision. Thus, the problem is not insuperable – it can be resolved if we have the will and commitment to do so by tapping on the African indomitable spirit, self-determination and enterprise to provide a contextual African model solution for the African urban housing affordability problem.

The findings could help all stakeholders to work together to resolve the problem in a meaningful practical way for the benefit of Africa.

Download the paper here



Name Dr Kwame Addae-Dapaah (he/him)
Role Staff
Department The Bartlett School of Planning

Film: Sarah Lever
Post Editing: Sarah Lever and Isaac Nanabeyin Simpson


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