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TransCentury subsidiary eyes Sh30b housing project in DRC

By Mozzart Bet - Aug 18th 2022
TransCentury CEO Nganga Njiinu. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

AEA Ltd, a subsidiary of listed regional infrastructure investment firm TransCentury, has inked a deal to build a Sh29.8 billion ($250 million) housing project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The trading firm signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Symbion Architect to construct housing units for the Office Conglais De Controle (OCC) staff (a quality assurance body) over five years.

AEA will be the engineering, procurement, and construction project contractor responsible for mobilising all the construction equipment at the project site, procuring labour and construction materials for the project, health and safety on site, executing all construction works, in line with approved designs, consulting with the architect, engineers and other professionals during the project construction.

TransCentury Group Chief Executive Nganga Njiinu noted that in the DRC, the current supply of housing and basic services does not match the rising demand for affordable housing.

“We have stepped in as the consortium to work with like-minded partners for the project to assist in alleviating the issue. The project will employ thousands of workers until its completion and there will be a huge value chain that will benefit within the vicinity with employment opportunities,” he said.

“TransCentury has been doing business in DRC since 2011 and we are happy to see other Kenyan businesses coming into the market.”

AEA Chief Executive Nicholus Kithinji noted that over 65 per cent of the population in DRC lives in inadequate housing and supplying housing for this population presents a huge opportunity for investors.

“This project will provide affordable housing to 5,000 staff and their families which may total to over 20,000 persons with the assumption of an average of four persons per household,” he said.

“The houses will have running water, power, sewerage connectivity and social amenities. The master plan will factor in a gated-housing environment.”

Office Conglais De Controle as part of the staff development programme, is encouraging and supporting its 5,000 staff, who are stationed across the various cities in DRC, to own houses.

The staff have organised themselves and purchased plots. Financing of the houses will be done through a local bank. The initial batch of 500 plots is made of 200 in Lubumbashi, 100 in Goma 200 houses in Kinshasa.

Housing sector

This agreement is one of the first to be entered after the entry of DRC into the East Africa Community.

The World Bank Report 2015 on stocktaking of the housing sector in Sub-Saharan Africa projects that Africa could have as many as 1.2 billion urban dwellers by 2050 and 4.5 million new residents in informal settlements each year, most of whom cannot afford basic formal housing or access mortgage loans.

In addition, DRC’s population is expected to reach nearly 145 million inhabitants in 2050, with 60 per cent urban residents and 40 per cent rural population compared to 42 per cent and 58 per cent in 2014.

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