IFC invests $2 million in French West African mortgage refinancing firm
- The WAEMU zone faces a housing shortage estimated at 3.5 million units.
The International Finance Corporation announced today that it has agreed a $2 million (1.25 billion CFA franc) equity investment in the Caisse Régionale de Refinancement Hypothécaire (CRRH-UEMOA), a West African mortgage refinancing company.
The Washington D.C.-based multilateral lender said its financing will enable CRRH-UEMOA to address the huge housing deficit amongst members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU, which is also known by its French acronym UEMOA). These countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
“IFC’s partnership with the West African Development Bank and the CRRH-UEMOA is aligned with the World Bank Group’s goals of putting an end to extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. “The housing sector creates direct and indirect jobs, while improved access to finance allows people to purchase homes and build wealth.”
The WAEMU zone faces a housing shortage estimated at 3.5 million units. This deficit could increase given population growth rates estimated between 2.5 to 3.5 percent. By supporting the development of CRRH-UEMOA, IFC said it aims to contribute to the expansion of the housing market by facilitating access to housing finance, promoting reforms and developing local expertise.
The CRRH-UEMOA is a regional initiative launched by the West African Development Bank (Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement) to provide better housing finance in the UEMOA zone. The company allows credit firms access 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 ECOWAS Investment and Development Bank (BIDC) and Shelter Afrique.
“IFC is an important strategic partner providing strong support to the development of the private sector in the UEMOA zone,” said Christian Agossa, Director-General of CRRH-UEMOA. “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.”
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