The show has been largely commended for setting the right tone for housing development in Africa and has cemented its place as a truly international platform for stakeholders.
Among the international participants at this year’s show with positive testaments are Debra Erb, Managing Director of Housing Programs at OPIC, Kecia Rust of AUHF, Robert Hornsby, Andrew Chimphondah, MD of Shelter Afrique and many more.
For Debra Erb who was attending for the first time, the Abuja International Housing Show has set a standard and requires more collaboration from government and private players.
‘’This show gives stakeholders a chance to gather and figure out ways to solve the affordable housing needs of people in Nigeria and Africa. The first thing to do about solving the affordable housing needs is talk to the actors, and this is what the Abuja International Housing Show is about. It is an impressive platform she said.
For all her great efforts in financing housing initiatives across the world, she was honoured by the organisers of the show with an excellence award in housing finance.
Also speaking on the significance of the show was Kecia Rust, the CEO of African Union for Housing Finance, AUHF.
‘’I thank the Abuja International Housing Show for this opportunity to showcase our organization and motivate for increased Nigerian participation in the network. You are doing a tremendous job for housing in Nigeria! Thank you for making the space for so many to collaborate with one another,’’ she said.
The Chief Executive and Managing Director of Shelter Afrique – the pre-eminent Pan African Housing Development Financial Institution – Andrew Chimphondah also had glowing words of praise for the 13th Abuja International Housing Show and its organisers.
‘’On behalf of the Board and Management of Shelter Afrique, we would like to thank you for including Shelter Afrique in this very auspicious Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) to provide a key note address. We benefited from the strong networks that were created between Developers, Investors, Funders, Regulatory Authorities and all stakeholders in the Real Estate and Housing Sectors. Rest, assured that Shelter Afrique is re-energized in its quest in fulfilling its vision of providing decent and affordable housing for All Africans.
‘’We believe that with the shortage of Housing in Nigeria up from 17 million to 22 million in 2019 and the estimated shortage of Housing now up from from 51 million to 56 million. We can aspire to reduce it, because to eradicate it would require funding of US$1.4 trillion as a minimum.
‘’Let us continue as fellow housing activists to advocate through the Abuja International Housing Show for an eradication of this scourging housing deficit so that our fellow brothers and sisters can live a dignified life as a basic human right.
‘’I want to also commend the living legend, Festus Adebayo, for his selfless contribution in advocating the need to seriously address the housing crisis.
For Anders Lindquist of Echostone, the 13th Abuja International Housing Show is the most significant highlight for their company and what they stand for.
Speaking on his impression of the show, he said; ‘’I was so moved by the reception we’ve received during our time at AIHS. I feel that EchoStone must say thank you for allowing us to share in this monumental event. Your hospitality has been instrumental in our success at the show. We’ve made far reaching connections in affordable housing, which offer the potential to bring over a million affordable homes to Africa – not to mention the massive amount of jobs that will follow.
‘’Without a doubt, the attendees of this conference have been some of the most dedicated, enthusiastic, and engaged of any that we’ve attended. Our entire company owes you a debt of gratitude for allowing us to present on two panels and participate in and outside the conference walls.
‘’Thank you for helping us to change the housing development landscape and join in this celebration of innovation. It has given our entire team a vision of our future in Africa that has inspired us all.
‘’So, again, I extend our sincerest thank you and look forward to the continued success of the AIHS conference, its participants, presenters, visitors, and yourself. I hope that it inspires us all to support and encourage one another toward successful and prosperous future for all of Africa. This is from me and the whole EchoStone team.’’
Robert Hornsby, Co-founder, American Home Builders of West Africa also commended the organisers for convening what he calls the most important platform for discussing affordable housing and associated issues in Africa.
On her part, Mounia Tagma of Affordable Housing Institute Morocco lauded the wonderful contributions of Abuja International Housing Show over the years in terms of how its bring together global stakeholders from public and private sectors to learn from each other, network and collaborate on projects that matter to them.
While speaking during the CEOs Forum of AIHS 2019, Hon. Abu-bakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of State, Ghana, said that the show is playing a critical role of tasking private sector stakeholders on their most important responsibilities.
‘’The private sector should be more positioned so that the government can always look to them for policy advice. The private sector are and should be the engine of the economy, and I appreciate how this show is representing that fact,” he said.
It wasn’t just the speakers that have good words for the show, Bhaska Roa of Royal Ceramics – one of the biggest exhibitors at this year’s show appreciates the show for offering them the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, buyers and respectable clients that has enhanced their business operations.
The impact of the Abuja International Housing Show is so much that Bhaska Rao and his Royal Ceramics team had to present a special award to the CEO of AIHS, Festus Adebayo at the closing ceremony on 26th July 2019.
The CEO of iBuild Global, Bob Weinschenk also appreciated the opportunity for stakeholders to focus on the most pressing issues in housing through AIHS.
By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja.