The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a financing agreement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s Caisse Régionale de Refinancement Hypothécaire (CRRH-UEMOA), the regional mortgage refinancing company. The equity investment of 1.25 billion CFA franc ($2 million) into CRRH-UEMOA was provided by the IFC to address the pressing need for affordable housing in the West African Economic and Monetary Union zone.
Members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (also known by its French acronym, UEMOA) are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
CRRH-UEMOA, a regional initiative launched by the West African Development Bank (Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement, BOAD), is working to provide better housing finance in the West African zone. It will offer credit establishments access to finance and long-term resources at competitive rates for refinancing approved housing loans for their clients. CRRH-UEMOA’s shareholders consist of 54 commercial banks in the UEMOA zone, the BOAD, the BIDC and Shelter Afrique, an institution dedicated to the promotion and financing of housing in Africa.
The UEMOA zone faces a housing shortage estimated at 3.5 million units. This deficit could increase given population growth rates estimated between 2.5-3.5 percent. By supporting the development of CRRH-UEMOA, IFC aims to contribute to the expansion of the housing market by facilitating access to housing finance, promoting reforms and developing local expertise.
Christian Agossa, Director-General of CRRH-UEMOA said:
“IFC is an important strategic partner providing strong support to the development of the private sector in the UEMOA zone. The agreement reinforces not just our shareholding, but also will allow us to mobilize more resources to increase our capacity to refinance housing loans by our shareholder banks. It’s equally an investment in the efficiency of our model of intervention.”