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This article by Gavin (2020) presents the urgent issue of Africa’s urban housing crisis, identifying challenges and possible solutions. It emphasizes the need for capital investment and policy changes to address the crisis, which is predicted to escalate without proactive measures The crisis can trigger social dissatisfaction and political activism which is unfair, especially in Africa’s rapidly growing youth population.

Going forward, demographic changes will create employment opportunities for urban infrastructure development. The lack of affordable housing in African cities, including Zimbabwe, is a concern that needs urgent attention. In particular, the 2022 Census report revealed demographic and housing data from Harare, Bulawayo, and other metropolitan regions which revealed higher population densities and larger average household sizes. This trend has been growing rapidly since the year the 2012 national census (Zimstats, 2022). , with an average of 3.7 each. Only between 2021 and 2022 did Zimbabwe have a population growth of 2%, and the country already has a housing shortage of over 1.5 million The city council backlog currently sits at 200 000 (people who pay fees to put them up are waiting for him) (Tshili. 2023).

The challenge of meeting the need for affordable housing due to factors such as migration, economic conditions, and land use regulations are important hurdles to overcome

Gavin (ibid.) advocates alternative approaches to financing urban housing, acknowledging that traditional approaches may not address this complex issue. It also focuses on the 28th Africa-France Summit and the economic prospects of sustainable cities, emphasizing the role of international cooperation in addressing this problem.

The paper also highlights China’s role in not giving due priority to African infrastructure and affordable housing. This calls for inclusive strategies for urban housing, involving not only local stakeholders, but also international partners

The complexity of Africa’s urban housing crisis, as well as its multifaceted challenges, is well illustrated in this article. It highlights the need for urgent action and new strategies to ensure that Africa’s expanding cities, including Zimbabwe, can provide residents with decent and affordable housing. This created a significant market opportunity for urban housing development in Zimbabwe.

  1. Gavin, M. D. (2020). Africa’s Urban Housing Crisis. Think Global Health. https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/africas-urban-housing-crisis. [Accessed August 2, 2023]
  2. ZimStat, 2022. The 2022 Population and Housing Census: Preliminary Report on Population Figures. https://www.zimstat.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Census2022_Preliminary_Report.pdf accessed 10 May 2023
  3. Tshili N. 2023, https://www.chronicle.co.zw/big-dent-on-bulawayo-housing-backlog/ accessed 10 May 2023
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